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The Story of 

Charles Stewart Mott and Flint 


This book is more than the biography of 
a distinguished industrial and educational 
leader on the American scene. It is also 
the story of a city, and of the more than 
fifty-year partnership between a dedicated 
man and his community. 

Charles Stewart Mott went to Flint, 
Michigan, in 1905, where he became one 
of the first suppliers of parts to the auto- 
mobile industry. At the end of his long, 
successful career, he had become a top 
executive at General Motors, and had lit- 
erally devoted himself to the city of Flint, 
as Mayor and as founder of the famed 
Mott Foundation. 

The authors describe Mr. Mott's early 
years in Flint, and the infant company that 
General Motors was then. He was elected 
to the Board of Directors in 1913, a posi- 
tion he has held continuously ever since, 
and his biography also recounts the story 
of the company and of the men behind it 
William C. Durant, Charles Nash, Wal- 
ter P. Chrysler, Harry Bassett, C. F. Ket- 
tering, William S. Knudsen, Alfred P. 
Sloan, and Harlow H. Curtice. Under their 
guidance, General Motors grew in a fran- 
(continued on back flap) 

jacket design by ABNER GRABOFF 



the story of Charles Stewart Mott and Flint 

by Clarence H. Young 
& William A. Quinn 

New York Toronto London 


Ruth Rowlings Mott, 
the Flint Board of Education, 


The Seven Universities of Michigan 
Partners in Progress 

Foundation for Living 

Copyright 1963 by McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. All Rights Re- 
served. Printed in the United States of America. This book or parts thereof 
may not be reproduced in any form without permission of the publishers, 
library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 63-13153 
First Edition 72516 


The memorandum I picked up from my desk concerned the 
fact that the year 1955 was the one-hundredth anniversary 
of the City of Flint As I thought of the almost incredible sweep 
of forces shaping modern Flint from the little river-crossing 
settlement of 1855, I was somewhat amazed to remember I 
had shared exactly half of Flint's first 100 years. 

I first saw Flint on September 2, 1905, the year the city 
celebrated its fiftieth anniversary golden jubilee. I found this 
valley of the Flint River still heavily grown with trees despite 
the rich harvest of pine which had brought Flint's booming 
lumber era. With the end of the pine had come the vehicle 
industry from which Flint-made wagons, road carts, and bug- 
gies rolled out to every corner of the country. Then, haltingly, 
after the turn of the century, automobile manufacturing began. 

I held the memorandum of Flint's hundredth year in my 
hand, trying to visualize the factors working so mightily to 
shape the city. 

There are no outside windows in my office in the Mott 
Foundation Building in downtown Flint, but I could lean back 
in my chair, close my eyes, and see, as if through the stone 
walls, the tremendous industrial establishments that mark the 
points of the compass from the center of the city. Flint is 
bounded on the north by Buick and Ternstedt, on the west by 
Chevrolet, on the south by Fisher Body, and on the east by the 
AC Sparkplug Division of General Motors Corporation. There 
are other industries, of course, but those are the greatest, 
employing some 70,000 people. 

Not the wildest imagination in 1905 could have conceived 
of such gigantic enterprises except, perhaps, the imagination 
of the man who had invited me to Flint, William Crapo 
Durant, key figure in so much that has happened to Flint 

The thought of Durant led me to the greatest factor of all 
in the destiny of Flint Someone once said that the history of 
mankind is the lengthened shadow of great men. In the history 
of Flint, this concept has been demonstrated with particular 
force. It has been pointed out before that Flint, once the pine 
was gone, had no natural advantages of raw materials, trans- 
portation, or proximity to markets. There was no reason why 
Flint should have become different from other small towns in the 
Middle West except for the quality of the people who settled 
here, and those who followed. 

There were giants among the men of Flint in 1905, casting 
their shadows across the quiet river valley and over the future 
as well. The Flint we know today is a living testimonial to the 
stature of those men to their vision, their courage, their abil- 
ity, their hard work, and their faith in the boundless accom- 
plishment possible for those who set their hearts and minds to 
a task. Then, as always, the men made the difference. 

It was my privilege to know those men and work with them, 
and with the successors who have caried on the great tradi- 
tions they established. It has become increasingly clear to me 
that the ideals, strength, ingenuity, daring, and hard work of 
individuals are responsible for Flint's remarkable record of 

Flint's demonstration that the quality of people underlies 
and overshadows all other factors in existence has had a pro- 
found influence on me, and on the activities to which I have 
devoted my life and resources in recent years. 

When a man believes that nothing else is important, really, 
except people, how can he implement his belief effectively? 
That is the question which has challenged me, and to which 
I have found, here in my own community, an answer that is 
deeply satisfying. 

It seems to me that every person, always, is in a kind of 
informal partnership with his community. His own success is 
dependent to a large degree on that community, and the com- 
munity, after all, is the sum total of the individuals who make 


it up. The institutions of a community, in turn, are the means 
by which those individuals express their faith, their ideals, and 
their concern for fellow men. 

The partnership between a man and his community is often 
an unconscious relationship, but this fact does not make it any 
the less real. For me, this sense of partnership has become a 
growing reality over the years. In the simplest terms: Flint 
has given me much that is good; I try, in return, to make 
available to the people of Flint much that is good, placing 
human values first. 

Flint has many splendid institutions expressing, as I have 
said, the faith of Flint people, their ideals, and their concern 
for fellow men. My own active partnership with my community 
is expressed mainly through another institution, called the 
Mott Foundation. This Foundation works principally through 
established community agencies, such as the board of educa- 
tion, to strengthen and extend their services by utilization of 
existing facilities to a degree far beyond the practices of the 
past. Further, the Mott Foundation is highly flexible, and thus is 
able to meet community needs not otherwise provided for, 
chiefly through pilot projects in new areas of community serv- 

This, then, is the answer I have found for my own need to 
perpetuate the lesson Flint has taught me that only people 
are important. And since every man needs to devote as much 
imagination, skill, and conscience to the wise and useful spend- 
ing of money as he exercised to accumulate that money, the 
Foundation answers this need for me also. The Foundation 
serves as the most effective expression of the faith, ideals, and 
concern for fellow men which I have acquired in my lifetime. 

The objectives of the Foundation have become both deeper 
and wider in the course of a quarter-century of continuous 
growth and development. Our attempt here in Flint is to open 
for as many people as possible the doors of opportunity for 
self-advancement in health, education, recreation, active par- 
ticipating citizenship, technical skill, economic knowledge, and 


successful adaptation to every challenge of modern living. But 
only the opportunity can be provided, the rest is up to the indi- 
vidual. Our experience gives evidence that the individual re- 
sponds eagerly to a down-to-earth implementation of equality 
of opportunity. 

So broad and so deep are the objectives of the Mott Founda- 
tion that they touch almost every aspect of living, increasing 
the capacity for accomplishment, the appreciation of values, 
and the understanding of the forces that make up the world 
we live in. In this sense, it may truly be called a Foundation 
for Living with the ultimate aim of developing greater under- 
standing among men. We recognize that our obligation to 
fellow men does not stop at the boundaries of the community. 
In an even larger sense, every man is in partnership with the 
rest of the human race in the eternal conquest which we call 
civilization. Just as the Foundation conducts pilot projects in 
Flint for the sake of the whole community, so we consider the 
whole Foundation a total pilot project for the sake of as much 
of the United States and the world as may care to make a 
similar approach to the problems of people. We believe and 
there is already a significant body of evidence to support our 
belief that both the principles and techniques, such as the 
community-school concept, pioneered in practice by the Mott 
Foundation, can be utilized with excellent effect in other com- 
munities. We are happy to make available to others all the 
information we can provide to assist them in similar under- 
takings; this is a major objective of the Foundation. 

For each of us, there is a time for taking stock for compar- 
ing our intentions with our accomplishments. The thought of 
Flint's hundredth year, and my own sharing of half that period, 
brought to me the impulse for such an accounting. 

Even if a man feels no necessity to justify his life to others, 
there is no escaping the necessity to justify it to himself. There 
are many ways to approach such a reckoning. Each man's life 
has its own private record of success and failure in his respon- 
sibilities to himself, his family, his associates, his community, 

and his God. It is not always easy to set forth an honest balance 
sheet when human and abstract values are involved, but one 
can try. 

This book, then, is such a reckoning-up for me. Chiefly, it 
is the story of the reciprocal relationship ... the often uncon- 
scious partnership . . . between the City of Flint and myself. 
And, of more importance, it is also the record of the develop- 
ment of a pattern of community service. As I have said, the 
Mott Foundation may, in a large sense, be considered a Foun- 
dation for Living; for me, in another sense, it is a foundation 
for living the realization of the purpose of my life. Above all, 
I hope that this record may prove illuminating and useful to 
others who share the same belief in the importance of people 
and the same need to do something effective about that belief. 

Charles Stewart Mott 



On Charles Stewart Mott's thirtieth birthday, June 2, 1905, 
it would have seemed easy to predict the pattern of his future 
life. Within another two weeks, he would be celebrating the 
fifth anniversary of his marriage. He was the father of two 
children, and was already firmly settled in Utica, New York, 
as president and general manager of the Weston-Mott Com- 
pany. The company had made the transition from bicycle 
wheels to automobile wheels and axles, and was showing a 
steady advance in production and sales. It would have been a 
fair assumption that C. S. Mott's future would be devoted to 
continuing the development of this family company in Utica. 
The event that changed this prospect was a very short letter to 
Mott from W. C. Durant, written just two days after Mott* s 
thirtieth birthday. 


Jackson, Michigan 
June 4, 1905 
Mr. C. S. Mott, Pres., 
Weston-Mott Co., 
Utica, N.Y. 

Dear Sir: 

Would you entertain a proposition of removing or establish- 
ing a branch factory at Flint, Michigan, provided the business 
of three or four large concerns was assured for a term of years? 
Flint is in the center of the automobile industry, a progressive 
city, good people, with conditions for manufacturing ideal. 

Yours very truly, 
W. C. Durant 
c/o Durant-Dort Cge. Co. 
Flint, Mich. 

This letter, written only six months after Durant had entered 
the automobile industry with Buick, already shows him think- 
ing in wide concepts. It suggests his ability to influence, if 
not control, "three or four large concerns for a term of years." 
Durant's characterization of his home town, Flint, as being 
"in the center of the automobile industry, a progressive city, 
good people, with conditions for manufacturing ideal" was to 
become increasingly accurate. 

The almost casual letter from the unpredictable genius of 
the automobile industry stirred Mott's imagination. He had 
then, as always, an instinct for change, variety, growth, and 
development in his activities, for new opportunities to chal- 
lenge his energy and ingenuity. Mott replied immediately. 

UTICA, N.Y., U.S.A. 

June 6, 1905 
Mr. W. C. Durant, 

Durant-Dort Carriage Co., 
Flint, Mich. 

Dear Sir: 

Your letter of the 4th inst. is received. 

The writer expects to visit Jackson either Monday or Tues- 
day of next week, and as I presume you are called there fre- 
quently on business, could you not arrange to meet me there 
at that time, when it would be possible to go into the matter 
suggested in your letter more fully than can be done by corre- 

It has been proposed to us once or twice to consider locat- 
ing in the West, especially since the automobile industry has 
become so important in your state, but the proposition we 
looked into did not prove sufficiently attractive to offset the 
disadvantage of moving an established business to new ter- 

The idea of a branch factory does not appeal to me as there 
is so much detail to our business that it is important that con- 

stant oversight be given, and should this factory remain here 
and a branch factory be established there, the time consumed 
in traveling would be considerable and would cause a large 
amount of physical and mental strain that would undoubtedly 
cause the business to suffer. We might entertain a proposition 
provided it were sufficiently attractive to remove our plant to 
a new place. We own our plant, free and unencumbered here 
and it would be a difficult proposition to dispose of it to ad- 
vantage if it were vacated. Our plant here meets our require- 
ments, although it is not a building of heavy construction. It 
stands on our books at about $25,000. (building). 

We are doing a very satisfactory business and it has steadily 
increased, and it has grown only because we have given it 
constant attention and have endeavored to increase the quality 
of our goods to meet the requirements of the trade. 

If you could, before the writer leaves for the West, outline 
more fully what you are in a position to propose, it might 
facilitate matters and then enable me to go into the project 
more fully with Mr. Doolittle, who is equally interested with 
me in our company. You may be sure that we shall give care- 
ful consideration to any proposition you may care to make. 
We cannot go into the matter hurriedly, and since looking 
into the question two years ago, we put the question of re- 
moval out of our minds. 

Very truly yours, 
Weston-Mott Co. 
C. S. Mott 

This letter is perhaps equally revealing of the man who 
wrote it. Mott speaks as a practical businessman first of 
all, yet between the lines there is evident the drive toward 
larger fields of activity. The rejection of the "branch factory" 
idea because of the difficulty of exercising "constant over- 
sight" is a principle which has guided Mott consistently. He 
has acted on the belief that a man should attend to his business 
personally if he expects it to develop and prosper, and he has 
generally concentrated his major interests where he could give 


exactly that kind of personal attention to them. Equally typical 
are both Mott's request to "outline more fully what you are in 
a position to propose" and his remark, "we cannot go into the 
matter hurriedly. . . ." Mott's loyalty to his associates is also 
demonstrated in his careful specification that Mr. Doolittle 
"is equally interested with me in our company." 

Weston-Mott had furnished chain-drive rear axles and 
front axles to the Buick Motor Company in Flint even before 
Durant had taken command of Buick. There were Weston- 
Mott axles on the sixteen Buicks made in 1903, and on the 
thirty-seven that followed in 1904. 

Mott visited Jackson the next week and Durant gave him a 
glowing amplification of the advantages in moving the Weston- 
Mott factory to Flint. Though impressed with the drive and 
certainty of Durant, Mott made it nevertheless clear that no 
decision could be reached until his partner, William Doolittle, 
also had an opportunity to hear the whole proposal directly 
from Durant. Mott invited Durant to visit Utica, look over the 
Weston-Mott operations and talk with Doolittle. Durant ac- 
cepted but remained vague about a definite date for his visit. 
His immediate concern was with securing bevel-drive rear 
axles and he asked Mott to prepare samples and cost estimates 
on two models. 

Back in Utica, Mott wrote Durant to reaffirm that nothing 
further could be said on moving to Flint until Durant had 
reached an understanding with William Doolittle. Remarking 
also that there had been no further word from Durant on the 
bevel-drive rear axles, Mott implied his feeling that Durant 
could be quite casual in matters of detail. Durant was given to 
large visions, with his swirls of projects giving rise to many vistas 
of a golden future. Mott, on the other hand, was and is a 
practical man, looking directly at what is ahead, planning for 
it with skill and certainty, but taking one step at a time. 

Having once considered the possibility of moving to Flint, 
Mott persisted in following up. But Durant's attention was 
apparently elsewhere. Thus the correspondence between the 

two men, which had begun with such promise of rapid action, 
seemed to have reached a dead end. But the need for axles 
was a reality Durant could not escape. After a long silence he 
sent Mott a wire that he and J. Dallas Dort would visit Utica 
to look over Weston-Mott and talk with Mott and Doolittle. 
They came on September 1, 1905. 

In spite of the unpromising situation created by Duranf s 
lagging correspondence, the famous magnetism of his presence 
offset any doubts Mott and Doolittle might have entertained. 
Durant was at his persuasive best in outlining the advantages 
of moving the Weston-Mott Company to Flint. The future was 
all one expanding golden horizon in his eyes, and no one was 
more adept in communicating this vision to those who listened. 
He was impressed with the combination of the practical and 
the imaginative in the Weston-Mott operations. He saw how 
methodically, yet how rapidly, the Weston-Mott people had 
made change after change, developing new products to fit alter- 
ing markets. He found Mott to be both a sound businessman 
and a mechanical engineer of remarkable ingenuity. Mott 
found Durant to be the intense, fast-moving, big-planning 
genius who held open the door to a vast and challenging 
future. Durant pressed for a decision and Mott and Doolittle 
agreed to make an immediate trip to Flint. 

The Motts and Doolittle arrived there on September 2, 
1905 and spent a few days. Before they returned to Utica, the 
decision to move had been made, signed, and sealed. 

The Motts and William Doolittle were not too happily 
impressed with the superficial appearance of Flint in 1905; 
they saw it as a "hick town" in comparison with Utica. But the 
people they met in Flint gave them quite another impression. 
Among them were John J. Carton, for many years attorney for 
the Buick Motor Company; Arthur G. Bishop, of the Genesee 
County Savings Bank; and William S. Ballenger, one of the 
original organizers of the Buick Motor Company. Arthur 
Bishop gave the visitors from Utica a dinner party at his home, 
where they met many interesting and influential men including 


William F. Stewart of the Stewart Body Company; Francis 
Rankin, publisher of Flint's Wolverine Citizen; Robert Arm- 
strong, of the Armstrong Spring Company; F. A. Aldrich, 
secretary-treasurer of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company; 
Fenton McCreery, distinguished American diplomat, and a 
number of others. 

It was clear to Mott that Buick gave great promise, and 
that, with the larger-than-life figure of Durant dominating the 
situation, and a body of able men concerned in the enterprise, 
all the constituents of success were at hand. Yet, if there was 
a good deal to gain, there was also a good deal to lose. The 
woods were full of new automobile companies in those days; 
they were already falling by the wayside, as hundreds more 
were to do until only today's handful would remain. Mott had 
brought his company well into the black in five years; he 
possessed security and all the assurance of a pleasant future 
in Utica. But security was not enough; he saw the enlarged 
potential of a Flint location, with much of the automobile 
industry shaping up in Michigan. He had already done sub- 
stantial business with Oldsmobile in Lansing and Cadillac in 
Detroit, and now with the promise of all Buick axle business, 
plus the other advantages offered, the risk was worth the try. 

Mott once summed up this turning point in his life with this 

Our trip to Flint . . . was an immediate decision, as was our 
decision to move our plant from Utica to Flint, instead of 
simply establishing a branch in Flint We felt that Michigan 
contained the majority of automobile production, and was the 
important place to locate our factory, and that we would do 

better to operate one factory than two 

Mrs. Mott and my partner were perfectly agreeable to our 
moving to where there were business advantages The up- 
shot of our visit was that before we left Flint the day following 
Labor Day, we had signed a contract whereby we were given 
a good-sized site at the corner of Hamilton and Industrial 
Avenues, on which to erect a new plant, alongside of a pro- 

posed Buick plant, and arrangements were made to form 
the Weston-Mott Company of Michigan to take over the 
business of Weston-Mott Company of Utica, capitalization 
$500,000, of which Flint citizens were to subscribe $100,000. 
Also, Weston-Mott Company was to receive contract from 
Buick Motor Company for all of its axle requirements on a 
percentage basis. In this new Weston-Mott Company, C. S. 
Mott was president, John J. Carton was vice-president, and 
W. G. Doolittle was secretary-treasurer. 

This, then, was the decision made on that long weekend of 
September 1905 which brought C. S. Mott to Flint It was 
arrived at quickly, but not without a thorough review of the 
circumstances that had brought Mott to the point where he 
had the power to make such a move of cardinal significance. 
What had been decided was to have a profound influence on 
Motf s own future and on the future of Flint. Here Mott was to 
build the career that led him to a vast fortune and an amazing 
roster of accomplishments. And in Mott, Flint not only en- 
countered the man it would elect as mayor seven years later, 
but the man who would become the greatest benefactor of 
the community within a half century. 


Charles Stewart Mott was born on June 2, 1875, in Newark, 
NJ. His twenty-six-year-old father, John Coon Mott, was 
devoting himself to the family cider and vinegar business in 
New York City. At the age of twenty-two, he had married 
Isabella Turnbull Stewart, daughter of the proprietor of Stew- 
art's Hotel, Old City Hall, Newark. 

Mott has traced the ancestry of his father back nine genera- 
tions to one Adam Mott who came to America from England 
before 1645. Mott's mother was descended from Col. Charles 
Stewart, who came to America from Ireland in 1750, settled 
in New Jersey, and fought in the Continental Army during the 
Revolutionary War from 1777 to 1782. Family pride in this 
ancestor who commanded a battalion of the First New Jersey 
Regiment of Minute Men and later a regiment of the line, and 
still later served on Washington's staff accounts for the first 
two of Charles Stewart Mott's names, 

In 1880, the family moved from Newark to New York City, 
where Mott had his early education. His notes indicate that 
he attended five different public schools before he entered 
Stevens High School at Hoboken, N.J., in 1888. 

Mott likes to refer to his ancestors as "sod-busters." They 
had been farmers for generations, and his father had grown up 
on the family farm. "Summertimes," he recalls, "I was sent 
up to Boucksville, in central New York, to spend vacations in 
the country with my grandparents, and those were happy days." 
In the best American rural tradition, the Mott family life was 
close-knit; affections within the family were deep, solid, and 
understood beyond the need for much obvious display. There 
were only the two children, Charles and his sister, Edith, two 
years older. 


In one of Mott's notes, he writes: "When my parents wanted 
to punish me I was kept in my room, where there was running 
water to drink, and I was given bread only to eat a bread- 
and-water diet. But that was not very severe punishment to me, 
for bread satisfied my hunger and I occupied my time reading 
books. I think I read everything that was written by Jules 
Verne, Dumas, and many other similar authors. I probably 
read more books then than I ever have since." 

Although the family was prospering, they kept to conserva- 
tive customs. Mott notes: "Mother used to make my clothes 
from material from Father's suits. Short pants and so tight that 
the boys used to ask if I was poured into them. Mother sewed 
them on a 'chain-stitch' sewing machine. I used to skate a lot 
went 'to school in New York on roller skates. One day a 
little over-exertion broke a stitch, and presto my pants were 
in two pieces, one on each leg and I walked home hanging 
one skate in front of me and one in the rear." 

The interest in mechanics, which was to lead Mott into 
mechanical engineering, emerged in his early years. He re- 
members making his own toys as a child, and the most vivid 
of his boyhood memories has to do with experimenting with 
photography when he was thirteen years old. He writes in his 

My first camera was a plain black box with a piece of glass 
in front; it was almost a lens, and in front of the lens a pinhole. 
There was no plate-holder. Instead, the camera was taken into 
a dark room and a 3%- by 4 ^4-inch plate inserted, and closed 
up. All pictures were 'time exposures'; on a bright day it took 
five seconds, on dark days a minute. We had a Camera Club 
developed our own plates and made our own prints. We even 
made our own lantern slides, and believe it or not, I still have 
a few which I made at that time, and they are as good as I 
could get made now. 

Motf s interest in mechanics, coupled with a happy apti- 
tude for manual training and shopwork, took the form 
of a specific ambition to which Mott held firmly. He planned 


to study mechanical engineering and hoped to become first a 
draftsman and then an engineer in a bridge-building company. 
Mott's devotion to this definite ambition ran counter to his 
father's equally definite hope to bring his son into the family 
business. This difference was bridged by compromise: The son 
did work in the family business, and the father did agree that 
the son should study mechanical engineering. 

In 1888 the family moved to East Orange, NJ. and Mott 
entered Stevens High School in Hoboken. He was graduated 
in 1892 and continued his education at Stevens Institute of 
Technology in mechanical engineering. 

Restless energy, the need for action, was his characteristic 
trait even then, and this restlessness of spirit found a satisfying 
outlet after his second year at Stevens. That summer, Mott 
joined the New York State Naval Militia, with headquarters 
on the USS New Hampshire, berthed at the foot of East 28th 
Street. He had a tour of duty as seaman in the old cruiser, USS 
San Francisco. Thus, at nineteen, Mott encountered two of the 
major interests of his life: military service and the sea. 

The same year brought another adventure. When he re- 
turned from the naval militia cruise, his father then head of 
an amalgamation of cider and vinegar making companies, the 
Genesee Fruit Company suggested that his son go to Den- 
mark and study the science of pure yeast culture at a school 
conducted by a Dr. Jorgensen in Copenhagen. Young Mott 
immediately obtained a certificate from Stevens Institute per- 
mitting him to re-enter the college a year later without re- 
examination and prepared for the trip to Europe. It is apparent 
that the elder Mott was deeply anxious for his son to enter the 
family business, and that the trip abroad was probably as much 
designed to accomplish this end as to make available new 
techniques in cider and vinegar making. 

On August 8, 1894, Mott boarded the 10,000-ton White 
Star liner Majestic, bound for Queenstown, Ireland. He took 
along only a small amount of baggage and a Palmer light- 
weight bicycle. The fare was $50. On the voyage, Mott ar- 
ranged for membership in a large English bicycle group, 

Cyclist Touring Club, which provided its members with creden- 
tials, road maps, and complete information on hotels, restau- 
rants, and lodging houses. Thus equipped, Mott set out on a 
bicycle trip that included Cork, the west coast of Ireland, and 
the lakes of Killarney. From Kfllarney, he went by train to 
Dublin and took a night boat to Liverpool, then rode the 
bicycle to Chester. 

The trip was an important experience for Mott. He was on 
his own, plunged into the Old World at an age when his whole 
life could be influenced deeply. He enjoyed every aspect of the 
adventure, and still remembers the warm hospitality extended 
to him in both Ireland and England. 

From Chester, Mott pedaled on to Birmingham, which 
fascinated him as an industrial city, then to Coventry, Strat- 
ford-on-Avon, and Bristol. Bristol's famous suspension bridge, 
and the gates to lock high-tide water in the harbor, held the 
interest of the mechanical engineering student who hoped 
himself to become a builder of bridges. He rode on to Totnes, 
and there visited the Symons family, with whom his father had 
done business. He was graciously received by the family, and 
was impressed by their courtesies and by their fine old house. 
Continuing his journey, Mott visited the Isle of Wight, and 
then went on to London. 

Next came a boat trip to Rotterdam, then more bicycling 
to Delft, where he visited a plant that made alcohol from root 
vegetables and used what was left of the vegetables as feed for 
cattle. He visited Amsterdam, Haarlem, Scheveningen, Berlin, 
and Kiel then reached his destination, Copenhagen, and Dr. 
Jorgensen's laboratory. 

Mott found lodgings at a Fru Maar's Pensionat, on the 
fourth floor of a large apartment building, and began his 
studies of yeast culture at the laboratory. His notes describe 
the nature of those studies: 

I spent almost five months there, learning the techniques of 
making yeast cultures, and separating and growing pure vari- 
eties from single cells. I learned how famous breweries used 
yeast which was originally grown from a single cell. After de- 

termining that such a yeast produced exactly the quality of 
beer desired, the yeast was propagated and kept pure to that 
variety thereafter. I worked on the separation and pure cul- 
ture of yeast from wines and ciders. I learned that a yeast cul- 
ture propagated from grapes grown in one particular section 
of France, for example, could be taken to a distant location, 
and that when this culture was used in fermenting grapes in the 
new area, the wine produced would have many of the char- 
acteristics of the wine made in the section from which the 
original yeast culture had been derived. 

Mott found the arrangement of daily meals in Denmark 
strange. "After rising, we had coffee and zwieback, and then 
went to work, returning somewhat before noon for breakfast, 
and then having another meal around four or five o'clock, and 
a final meal about nine o'clock." 

Perhaps the most illuminating aspect of his experience in 
Denmark was the new kind of social life in which he found 
himself. He remembers the Copenhagen Opera with warmth 
and pleasure, and notes that he "even went to a dancing school 
run by one of the dance teachers of the Opera House . . . meet- 
ing and dancing with people from various places, very few of 
whom spoke my language " 

From Copenhagen, Mott went to Munich for further study 
of the chemistry of fermentation. In the laboratory of Dr. 
Lintner, in Munich, Mott learned to make the analyses funda- 
mental to fermentation processes, including study of the kinds 
of sugar and determination of sugar content. He encountered 
a new breakfast pattern: Bratwurst und Semmel which the 
porter brought to the laboratory. Mott continued his new- 
found interest in the opera at Munich; he remembers that he 
almost always occupied standing room instead of a seat. Three 
months completed Mott's special studies in Munich. He visited 
Paris on the way back to London to take ship for home. 

In April, 1895, Mott rejoined the family in New York. That 
summer, he carried on some experiments utilizing the new 
scientific techniques he had learned in Europe. With only one 

apple crop a year, and little research work already done in this 
field compared with the long tradition of similar study with 
regard to grapes in Europe, he realized it would take far too 
many crops and years for him to arrive at any practical 
results. Also, he had never lost any of his love for mechanical 
engineering. With his father's agreement, he re-entered Stevens 
Institute in September, 1895, for the junior year of his me- 
chanical-engineering course. 

The father's persistent wish to interest the son in some 
aspect of the family business became evident in another form. 
The elder Mott had acquired a carbonating company which 
was engaged both in building beverage-carbonating machinery 
and in importing carbonic gas from Germany. In 1896, this 
company was reorganized and named the C. S. Mott Com- 
pany. The young man whose name the firm bore was very 
active in the affairs of the company during his last two years 
in college active in every aspect, from management and 
manufacture to the hard work of installing equipment. 

Many years later, Mott's good friend, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., 
in his autobiography, Adventures of a White Collar Man, was 
to write of Mott: 

But about the time I was starting in at Hyatt as a draftsman, 
this tall, blue-eyed young fellow, a mechanical engineer, had 
been working in overalls. He and his father had a small busi- 
ness, manufacturing soda-water machines. Charley Mott, be- 
tween classes at Stevens Institute, installed the machines in 
drug-stores and confectionery shops. These appliances were 
hard to sell, but the Motts were pretty ingenious about it. They 
would permit a store owner to pay installments amounting 
each month to no more than he had previously been paying 
for tanks of carbonated water. 

What Sloan calls a "pretty ingenious" way of selling the 
carbonators was a financing plan which Mott recalls in these 
words: "Payments were in the form of notes one of the first, 
if not actually the first, form of installment selling. As there 
was some delay in our bank's notifying us of the payment of 


notes sent for collection, we attached a printed postal card to 
each note, and when customer paid said note the collecting 
bank would sign and mail the postal to us and we would 
deposit the postal with our bank and get credit for same." 

Mott received his degree as a mechanical engineer from 
Stevens in June, 1897, and occupied himself during the 
next year with developing the carbonating company. He was 
a personable young man, not only tall and blue-eyed, but dis- 
tinctly handsome and of commanding appearance. Also, he 
had no objection to wearing overalls and working with his 
hands. The ingenuity Sloan noted has characterized Mott 
always. Being a mechanical engineer has meant more to 
Mott than merely having a degree. Not only was much of his 
early success based on his dogged ability to apply engineering 
principles to any new product problem, but the habit of mind 
he developed as an engineer the same practical, methodical, 
logical progression from facts to decisions has served him 
consistently in widely varied fields of application. 

The Buffalo World's Fair in 1901 was to bring a striking 
instance of Mott's versatility as an engineer-manufacturer. The 
fair brought a request for forty carbonating machines which 
were to be "electrically operated and completely automatic.*' 
There had been no such machines but Mott built them and 
delivered them on schedule. 

Three years before that, Mott joined the U.S. Navy. This was 
on April 26, 1898, the day after the United States declared 
war on Spain. Mott is proud to remember that his organization 
was reported to be the first National Guard unit to join. They 
were assigned to the USS Yankee, a cruiser hastily converted 
from the Morgan Line's El Norte. Mott, a gunner's mate first 
class, was responsible for the four forward guns on the main 
deck; the ship was armed with a total of ten 5-inch guns, using 
fixed ammunition. The Yankee put out to sea from Brooklyn 
Navy Yard, and on May 12, took up the somewhat dreary 
duty of patrolling between Block Island and Cape Henlopen 
for a period of two weeks. Detached from patrol duty, the 

Yankee was sent to join the Cuban blockade on May 29, 1898. 
Young Mott was a good correspondent, and he wrote fre- 
quent letters to his parents, grandmother, and sister. One of 
these letters covers the famous incident in which Hobson 
scuttled the collier, Merrimac, in the channel at Santiago, and 
the next describes the Yankee's part in its first real action, the 
bombardment of Santiago on June 6, 1898, and subsequent 

BaWa de Guantanamo 
Tuesday, June 7, about noon 
Dear Father: 

I presume the letter I wrote on Sunday will have reached 
you safely. On Sunday there was "nothing doing" and we got 
as much rest as possible. At night the lookouts were doubled. 
When day began to break about 4 A.M., Monday, we were 
called to quarters and we came most of us with but a pair of 
trousers on. We cleared for action and had a hurried bite 
and cup of coffee. Then the fleet, with the New York (flag- 
ship) at the head and the Yankee second, went into line of 
battle, and after an hour or so the ball began. 

I think that anyone near the fort must have thought that 
hell was let loose. During the bombardment we threw about 
200 five-inch shells and 300 six-pounders into the fortifica- 
tions, and things were pretty well torn up. Of course, the other 
ships all did their share. 

Our mark was the battery of six guns on the eastern side of 
the channel entering into the harbor. It was located on a very 
high rocky cliff, but I guess we played havoc pretty well with 
it. Below this battery there were other guns masked, but they 
did not shoot long. On the western side there was a good deal 
of firing, but I think that the battleships which shot at long 
range took good care of them and probably blew up their mag- 
azine, for there was a big fire and explosion. We opened fire 
at about 4000 yards and went in to 2000; were probably nearer 
all the time than any other vessel. Our skipper believes in be- 
ing right in it. I was quite busy and the smoke was very dense, 
but I could see that no one did better shooting than the 


Thursday, June 9, 7 A.M., at Sea 

A little later in the day the Dolphin, which was near shore 
well east of the fort, discovered a trainload of Spanish soldiers 
creeping along the shore; they immediately let fly with six- 
pounders, and the train backed into a cut, from which they 
could neither advance nor retreat without being seen. Then a 
lot of shells were dropped near them. It is said that Garcia 
was aboard the New York yesterday, and he reported that 
great damage was done to the forts, in which 120 Spanish 
were killed; said that the Dolphin killed 1 12 on the train. Also 
that one of the large shells passed over the fort and landed on 
tihte forecastle of the Vizcaya, destroying one of her largest 
guns and killing 13 men. 

At 12 o'clock that night we (Yankee) left for Guantanamo, 
about 40 miles east of Santiago; there we destroyed a block- 
house on a bluff, and threw a lot of shells into their fort, about 
7000 yards up the bay. In front of the fort was a gunboat and 
a torpedo boat; it is believed that we hit the former. They 
threw some shells at us, but with no result. 

The St. Louis, which was with us, remained outside and 
cut some cables. 

On Tuesday night we went back to Santiago, where we re- 
mained for 24 hours. Last night we left for St. Nicholas Mole, 
Hayti. This morning we were ousted at 4 o'clock, when we 
sighted what proved to be a British tramp steamer. 

St. Nicholas Mole, June 9 3 P.M. 
No sooner was breakfast over than we had quarters, and 
then the "gunners' gang" had the lovely job of putting all the 
empty cartridge cases and boxes below. There were all of 
those from the two bombardments. I think it was the warmest 
work I ever did. The temperature on the deck is very high, 
but below it was terrific, and the air was not sweet. The nine 
of us had nothing on but shoes and stockings, and they were 
soaked through; it took us two hours to do the work. When 
I came on deck I nearly had a chill it was so much cooler; 
had a brine-bucket salt-water bath afterwards. 

Bumboatmen have been alongside selling oranges, limes, 
and bananas at N.Y. fancy prices; sour was no name for them. 

We got here about noon and our boats are still ashore; 
don't know how long we shall stay here. It seems to me quite 
likely that we shall go to some place like Dry Tortugas, or Key 
West, to get troops; I don't see how we can ever accomplish 
much at Santiago or any other place in Cuba without them. 
My idea is bombardment, to be followed up by the landing 
of troops. 

We have been fortunate in moving around; have had various 
experiences and seen quite a number of places for the length of 
time we have been in the service: Block Island, Delaware, and 
patrol service, then these three forts south here and taking a 
very prominent part in the Santiago bombardment and doing 
the Guantanamo alone. Have been with what is probably the 
largest American fleet, and had the excitement of blockading 
and being shot at and "torpedoed at." 

Santiago, June 10 

We left Hayti last night at about 8; at nearly midnight we 
were hustled out to quarters and found several lights in view; 
two of the ships had search lights; for the first time we did 
not chase them, but put on extra steam and came here flying. 
This morning, some hours after our arrival, a number of ships 
came in; they look to be transports and probably have many 
men aboard. I imagine that an attack will be made on the fort 

The weather continues fine and hot. Suppose you are hav- 
ing it a little warm in the city. 

Hope that this will reach you before the war is over. Love 
to mother, grandma, Edith and yourself and all. 


A hint of the heroic atmosphere which prevailed in this 
war is evident in Mott's letters. The former militiamen were 
careful to say from time to time that they knew they were not 
on a picnic yet something of delighted excitement and boyish 
adventure is still apparent in both their actions and their re- 
ports. Bits from some of Mott's letters to members of his family 
show the enthusiasm, the pride of accomplishment, and the 
zest for living which he brought to this adventure in warfare: 


Things seem to run much smoother now; mess, work, and 
everything, I think that just a little more discipline will make 
everything perfect. Give us about another month. Even now 
we get to our guns and man them in a way that pleases the 
Captain. In the daytime now we always wear clean whites, 
and no dirt goes. We have to scrub and wash clothes every 
other morning. In the evening we wear blues, which is regula- 
tion. Such beautiful skies and blue water I never saw before, 
it is simply great. Expect to see a great deal that is interesting 
and beautiful. 

The Yankee had a part in nine engagements, and was at 
Guantanamo August 14, 1898, when signals were flashed from 
the flagship, "Peace protocol signed." The Yankee crew re- 
ceived a rousing reception when mustered out in New York; 
they were reviewed by President McKinley and Mayor Van 
Wyck. Thirty years later, when the members of the Yankee's 
crew published a book, The USS Yankee on the Cuban Block- 
ade, the former Lieut John Hubbard, executive officer of the 
Yankee, was a rear admiral, and was included with the com- 
manding officer, Rear Admiral Willard H. Brownson, and 
Capt. William Butler Duncan, Naval Militia of New York, in 
the affectionate and respectful dedication of the volume. Hub- 
bard's brilliant contribution to the volume makes clear the 
factors which had created some bitterness and friction aboard 
the Yankee on its wartime cruise the gay, casual, informal, 
amateur approach of the well-educated young militiamen 
conflicting with the "Old Navy" regimen of discipline, smart- 
ness, and speed in carrying out orders. 

It is significant that none of Mott's letters reflects any bitter- 
ness toward the officers; he apparently had much more realiza- 
tion than many of his fellow crew members of the necessity of 
discipline, smartness, and efficiency. This wartime experience 
taught him a great deal about men under stress; it gave him 
pride in his own accomplishment, as he demonstrated re- 
peatedly his ability to hold his own as a man among men under 
difficult and strenuous conditions. He had been very much of 

an individualist; he remained an individualist. However, he 
also learned to work, as an individual, in effective cooperation 
with many other men for a common end. He learned to respect 
discipline as a major means to cooperative accomplishment 
in an organization. 

After his discharge, Mott continued to serve as chief gun- 
ner's mate in the New York Naval Militia. He also resumed 
his activities with the carbonating company which bore his 
name, and worked with his father in the management of the 
Genesee Fruit Company and in the other interests the family 
had acquired, which included acting with his father as sales 
representatives for the Weston-Mott Company, manufacturers 
of wire wheels. 

On Mott's twenty-fourth birthday, June 2, 1899, his father, 
forty-nine years old and at the height of a successful career, 
died suddenly. Thus Charles Stewart Mott began his twenty- 
fifth year with a burden of sorrow and responsibility. By 
January, 1900, one of his uncles had taken over much of the 
management of the Genesee Fruit Company, and it was sug- 
gested that Mott go to Utica, New York, as secretary and 
superintendent of the Weston-Mott Company. 

In 1896, while Mott had still been at Stevens Institute, his 
father and uncle had bought L A. Weston and Company, 
Jamesville, N.Y., manufacturers of bicycle hubs and wheels 
since 1884. The company had been reorganized as the Weston- 
Mott Company, with the uncle, Frederick G. Mott, as presi- 
dent and manager, and with C. S. Mott as a director. In 1898, 
the Weston-Mott Company had been moved into a new factory 
in Utica. At about the same time, the demand for bicycle 
wheels had dwindled. The Weston-Mott Company had struck 
out in several directions at once: drop-forged axles and wire 
wheels with cushion rubber tires for a new type of light car- 
riage; wire wheels for push carts, implements, and wheel 
chairs even wheels for jinrikshas and, last, wire wheels for 
automobiles. Acting as New York sales representatives for the 
Weston-Mott Company, C. S. Mott and his father had, in 


1898, sold wire wheels to such early automobile makers as 
Canda Quadricycle Company, Grout Automobile Company, 
and the Autocar Company. 

To the young man who had been bent since boyhood on 
mechanical engineering, the affairs of the Weston-Mott Com- 
pany held deeper interest than the business of the Genesee 
Fruit Company. It is likely that young Mott's concern with 
mechanical engineering had been a factor in his father's deci- 
sion to buy into the Weston-Mott Company in the first place. 
For the first six months of 1900, Mott divided his time be- 
tween Utica and New York City, acting as superintendent of 
Weston-Mott, and carrying on the activities of the C. S. Mott 
Company in manufacturing carbonators. 

Mott had another reason for spending most of his week- 
ends in New York City; he was engaged to Miss Ethel Culbert 
Harding, whose mother had been a girlhood friend of his 
mother. Miss Harding's father, Herbert Brunswick Harding, 
was manager of a medicine company, "Humphrey's Homeo- 
pathic Medicines," which was reputed to have an advertise- 
ment once a week in every newspaper in the United States. 
Charles Stewart Mott and Ethel Culbert Harding were 
married at All Angels Church in New York City on June 14, 
1900. After a wedding trip to New Brunswick, Canada, where 
(he Harding family had a long and distinguished history, the 
Motts settled in Utica. They visited New York City from time 
to time, and often attended the opera. Mott continued to 
manage his carbonating company, and later moved it to Utica, 
where he kept it operating for some years until he became too 
busy to attend to it. Eventually the Duffy Company bought 
the original Mott cider and vinegar company, although to this 
day the name Mott is retained on cider and other products 
sold by that firm- 
Gradually Mott took over purchasing and engineering in 
the Weston-Mott Company, as well as acting as its secretary 
and superintendent. Frederick G. Mott, president of the com- 
pany, was in the process of withdrawing from active manage- 

ment. In addition to bringing his nephew from New York, he 
interested a Utica man, William G. Doolittle, in joining the 
company as part owner and treasurer. The Weston-Mott Com- 
pany struggled to adapt to the changing developments in 
vehicle manufacturing. In the year from January 1, 1900, to 
January 1, 1901, the company had sales of $149,891, but 
showed a loss of $1,480 and a depletion of operating surplus 
to $10,303. 

The fight for business involved rapid change of products 
to meet shifting demands. It was apparent that the future of 
the Weston-Mott Company lay with the rising automobile 
industry. Mott's notes of those years include the following: 

In 1900, R. E. Olds decided to put on the market the new 
curved dash runabout he had designed. We got his order for 
500 sets of wire wheels, and that order was duplicated a num- 
ber of times during the following few years until we had fur- 
nished about 3,000 sets, which was enormous business for that 
time. We also made wire wheels for many automobile man- 
ufacturers, including my much respected friend J. W. Packard 
of Warren, Ohio founder of the Packard Motor Company. It 
was J. W., who, when demand changed from wire to wood 
wheels, told me that he regretted it, and that he only hoped 
that the wood wheels would stand up as well as our wire 
wheels. And when that change occurred, cars were quoted 
with wire wheels as standard and wood wheels $100 extra. 
Years later, after wood wheels had become standard, de- 
mountable wire wheels were offered at $100 per set extra. 

But back to 1902: We were receiving large quantity orders 
for wire wheels from R. E. Olds. He hung on to the use of 
wire wheels longer than anyone else. We were running night 
and day. Then, during 1902, he cancelled all orders and shut 
us down. The bottom dropped out of the wire wheel business, 
and the management of Weston-Mott Company went to other 
activities, and I was left with responsibility of a factory and 
payroll, and very little business or income. 

It was up to me to do something, and I went out on the 
road to meet for the first time the automobile manufacturers, 


and to try to sell them artillery wood wheels with which we had 
neither experience nor production. 

Sales were impossible; they wanted to buy front and rear 
chain drive axles with their wheels. Previously they had built 
their own tubular frames of different construction from what 
they now wanted. In fact, there was only one other source pro- 
ducing something of the type of what was desired. 

So, we had to design axles of our own make drawings and 
blueprints of what we had never produced, and solicit business 
for a line of goods with which we had no experience. But before 
I went home, I had secured orders for a volume of business 
greater than we had ever done in one year, and still we had 
never built an axle. 

Those were not the days of the 40-hour week. Our factory 
started at 7 A.M., and ran until 6 P.M. with one hour out 
for lunch 10 hours a day, 60 hours a week. I used to get to 
the factory at 6 A.M., taking my lunch with me, and work un- 
til 7 P.M., trying to construct axles which would do the job. It 
was several months before that was accomplished. 

What now seems very simple was very difficult because no 
one had ever done it before. Suitable material, knowledge of 
design, and experience were mighty scarce. At last we pro- 
duced something. Today, I should not be very proud of the 
result, but at least it was as good as anything anybody else 
had. It showed wear with use, of course, but it stood up well, 
and did not break down, as was the case with the product of 
others. We used ball bearings in the front, and Hyatt Roller 
Bearings in the rear. Differentials were purchased from the 
Brown-Lipe Company. 

The Cadillac Company started in 1902, and contracted 
with the American Ball Bearing Company, of Cleveland, for 
3,000 sets but these axles did not stand up, and the Cadillac 
Company turned to us for supply. During 1903, we furnished 
them with 1,500 sets of axles. The Hyatt Roller Bearings were 
ran directly on shafts and the interior of tubes. They did not 
break and that fact enabled the Cadillac Company to produce 
and sell cars. Later, shafting material was changed. Still later, 
Hyatt Roller Bearings were ground, and run on hardened 
sleeves on the shafts, and hardened sleeves within the tubes. 


In those early years, Mott and Doolittle each received $100 
a month as salary. They contracted with two men to true-up 
wire wheels, and those men, on piecework, often earned more 
than the superintendent and treasurer. A foreman once left 
without notice; so Mott put on overalls and acted as foreman 
of the rim department for some time, along with his other 
responsibilities. He was not satisfied with the rim machinery 
and arranged to have it changed so that the rollers could be 
opened up and rims could be replaced in the machine for 
further operations after welding. 

Life was not all work and business; Mott and his wife en- 
joyed the social life of Utica and their regular visits to New 
York City. Their first daughter, Aimee, was born April 15, 

In September, 1901, Mott bought his first automobile, a 
Remington. He still has the original invoice on the letterhead 
of the Remington Automobile and Motor Company of Utica: 


Utica, N.Y. 
Sept 10 '01 
Remington Automobile & Motor Company, 

Sold to Mr. C. S. Mott 
Weston Mott Co. 
Utica, N.Y. 

Terms NET 

One Remington motor complete with dynamo, 

batteries, carburretter, muffler, etc $175.00 

One Style "C" body complete 75.00 

One water and gasoline tank 9.50 

Tools, pump, oil-can, bell 3.25 

One pair "Baby Square" lamps, No charge 

One transmission gear, special price 50.00 

One set foot levers, rods, etc. complete 6.50 

One radiator complete with attachments 10.00 

Ironing body for motor and to gear 10.00 


Labor on complete job, at cost 25.00 

(Other parts furnished by C. S. Mott) 



Sept. 26, 1901 

Remington Automobile & Motor Co. 
L. Malcolm Graham Treas. 

Mott drove his Remington in a "Horseless Carriage Run" in 
1902. He was a charter member and first president of the 
Automobile Club of Utica, and he was one of the founders of 
the American Automobile Association in Chicago. On Sep- 
tember 4, 1902, Mott traded in his first Remington, being 
credited not only with the full amount of the original purchase 
price, but also receiving an additional allowance of $135 for 
"running gear, steering levers, wheels, tires, and compensating 
gear" which he had furnished for that first car. The net differ- 
ence he paid for his new "special 1903 Remington" on Sep- 
tember 4, 1902, was $140.75. 

Mott worked furiously. Now, at last, he had full scope for 
his engineering ability. His uncle, Frederick G. Mott, became 
interested in oil lands in the West, and offered his Weston- 
Mott stock for sale. Mott and William G. Doolittle purchased 
this stock and other outstanding stock in the Weston-Mott 
Company in 1903. They were equal partners in the enterprise, 
with Mott being president. 

In 1901, the company's sales had risen to $195,076, with 
a profit of $11,303, all of which was added to the operating 
surplus. From January to September, 1902, Weston-Mott 
sales were $159,547, with a total profit of $19,004. A 3 per 
cent dividend amounting to $1,500 was declared, and the 
operating surplus was increased to $40,610. In 1903, sales 
were well over $200,000. 

The partnership between Mott and Doolittle was a pleasant 
and effective relationship, with Doolittle attending to the 
financial problems of the company and Mott handling the other 

major aspects of the business. Mott and Doolittle drew up a 
contract by which the life of each was insured in favor of the 
other, and by which, in the event of the death of either partner, 
the other might purchase the deceased partner's stock at a 
set figure if he wished or, even if he did not wish to do so, 
the surviving partner might be required by the deceased part- 
ner's heirs to purchase the stock, but at a lower figure. 

The business flourished, adapting rapidly to the many 
changes required by the developing automobile industry. The 
size of the factory at Utica was doubled, and doubled again, 
and the number of employees increased accordingly. From 
August 15, 1903, to August 1, 1905, just before that first 
visit Mott and Doolittle paid to Flint, the company's earnings 
were $601,572, and the operating surplus was increased to 



The September, 1905, visit of Mott and Doolittle to Flint 
came just after the city, in its golden jubilee, had taken a long 
look at its own story. The celebration was in honor of Flint's 
fiftieth anniversary as an incorporated city. 

In 1855, there had been about 2,000 people in Flint when 
the community became a city. Lumbering was already the 
chief industry, and it was to dominate the scene for a quarter- 
century and to develop its great men. Perhaps the most impres- 
sive of those great men was Henry H. Crapo. He contributed 
mightily to Flint's lumber boom and at one time had as many 
as five lumber mills in operation simultaneously. He was also 
an ardent agriculturist and, inaugurated as governor of Michi- 
gan in 1865, a distinguished public servant. The Flint and 
Holly Railroad, built by Governor Crapo and his friends, was 
an essential step in Flint's progress. Lumber from Flint went 
to every corner of the world, and the city enjoyed rising pros- 
perity until the pine had been harvested. 

With the end of the pine, the people of Flint had to look 
for other types of employment. Their energy, ingenuity, and 
enterprise were equal to the problem. A variety of industries 
developed, mostly concerned with aspects of woodworking. 
Among these, the most important was wagon-and-carriage 
making. W. A. Paterson had opened a carriage and repair 
shop in Flint in 1869. 

In 1886, an apparently minor event took place which was 
to have an immeasurable effect on the future of Flint. William 
Crapo Durant, grandson of Gov. H. H. Crapo, learned that 
for $2,000 he could buy the Coldwater Road Cart Company. 
He entered into a business partnership with a friend, J. Dallas 
Dort, and they bought the road cart business. This inconspic- 


uous fact provided the foundation which was to make Flint 
first "The Vehicle City," celebrated for its wagons and car- 
riages, and later, "Auto-maker to the World." 

The Durant-Dort Carriage Company, the W. A. Paterson 
Company, and the Flint Wagon Works, were notably success- 
ful enterprises and attracted many skilled craftsmen to Flint. 
By 1905, Flint's population was estimated at 16,000. 

In 1903, the pioneer qualities of enterprise and ingenuity 
which have always characterized Flint had led J. H. Whiting, 
of the Flint Wagon Works, to venture into the automobile 
business by buying the Buick Motor Company from the 
Briscoe brothers, and bringing inventor David D. Buick and 
his one Buick car to Flint. It seemed perhaps logical that a 
wagon-and-carriage maker should simply place engines in his 
carriages and thus make the transition to the automobile age. 
It proved, of course, much less simple than that, and in the 
course of time J. H. Whiting called on another carriage maker 
to carry on the faltering development of the Buick Company. 

That man was W. C. Durant, who had already made a 
fortune and a national reputation for success with his Durant- 
Dort Blue Ribbon carriages and road carts. Durant hesitated, 
investigated, then made up his mind. He poured all of his vision, 
energy, organization, and financial genius into the Buick Motor 
Company. It was typical of his foresight that one of the first 
major acts in his development of Buick, shortly after he had as- 
sumed responsibility for the management of the company, was 
to invite the Weston-Mott Company to move to Flint so that 
there would be an unfailing supply of axles for Buicks. 

In response, Mott faced away from the East he knew so well 
and ventured his whole future in Flint with complete con- 
fidence. His foresight was never more accurate than at that 
moment. When Mott and Doolittle returned to Utica they lost 
no time in developing their plans for the move to Flint. On 
September 16, 1905, a notice was sent to all Weston-Mott 
employees explaining the several reasons for moving the plant 
to Flint, and expressing the "earnest desire that the men who 


are now in our employ shall accompany us." Four days later, 
an announcement of the move was sent to Weston-Mott cus- 
tomers, assuring them that the "removal can be made with- 
out interfering with this season's business," and that "when we 
are in our new home we can promise, not only continued satis- 
faction from a mechanical point of view, but also first class 

The business continued in Utica while construction was 
started in Flint. As building advanced, machinery was shipped 
from Utica, although manufacturing operations were main- 
tained there until the Flint plant opened. Meanwhile, the Motts 
continued their pleasant life in Utica. Their oldest daughter, 
Aimee, had been born in 1902; their second child, Elsa Bea- 
trice, had come along in 1904, and their third child, Charles 
Stewart Harding, was born in 1906. 

The Weston-Mott Company had to decline some business 
during 1906 because of the difficulties of keeping up produc- 
tion while transferring operations. Many other problems were 
involved in the transition from Utica to Flint. One of them 
was finding housing for the 100-odd Utica employees who 
planned to move to Flint with the company. Weston-Mott was 
at that time employing about 240 men in Utica and was ex- 
pecting to be able to give employment to 350 men in Flint. 
A local committee was formed to compile lists of available 

In June, 1906, the Weston-Mott Company of Utica, New 
York, became the Weston-Mott Company of Flint, Michigan. 
A board of directors was elected: William G. Doolittle, 
Charles S. Mott, and Frederick H. Hazard of Utica, New York; 
Arthur G. Bishop and John J. Carton of Flint. The directors 
elected as officers: C. S. Mott, president; J. J. Carton, vice- 
president; A. G. Bishop, secretary; W. G. Doolittle, treasurer. 
Capitalization was $500,000. 

On August 8, 1906, the power was turned on for the first 
time in the Weston-Mott factory of Flint, with twenty men al- 
ready employed and a small proportion of the machinery ready 


to run. The formal opening of the new plant was postponed 
until September. In addition to the machinery shipped from 
Utica, new machines had been ordered and it was expected to 
run the new plant with a total of 400 machines. The factory 
was praised as one of the finest and most modern, providing 
ample light and ventilation for workmen. 

By early August that year, a number of the company's Utica 
employees had moved to Flint. Though many stayed behind, 
most key men chose to move with the company; of these, 
several were to play important parts in the future of both Flint 
and the automobile industry. One of them was Harry H. Bas- 
sett, who had been with the Remington Arms Company for 
fourteen years when Mott hired him. He was effective and 
adaptive and soon became assistant manager. He was appointed 
factory manager on March 25, 1907, when Hubert Dalton, 
his predecessor, resigned. 

During this period, Buick, spurred by the driving genius 
of Durant, was taking tremendous strides. In 1 905 Buick made 
more than 600 cars, and in 1906 about twice that many and 
had orders for almost 900 more. Buick output was increased 
by 50 per cent in 1907, not withstanding the panic in the 
country. Durant looked forward to the time when he would 
be making 50,000 cars a year. The carriage industry was still 
very much alive. In fact, it was on September 29, 1905, the 
same month that Mott and Doolitfle had made their decision 
to move to Flint, that the Durant-Dort Carriage Company 
received the largest single order in its history. Through Du- 
rant's connection with the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, 
he was able to draw upon both the financial resources and the 
other facilities of the carriage company to assist the expanding 
Buick organization. In the panic of 1907, when many automo- 
bile companies were falling by the wayside, Durant conceived 
the idea of showing Buick automobiles in Durant-Dort Car- 
riage display rooms throughout the country, which is said to 
have been the beginning of the auto showroom in America. 

The new Weston-Mott plant, located at the corner of 


Hamilton and Industrial Avenues beside the new Buick plant, 
covered 60,000 square feet but soon became inadequate. Buick 
and Flint were leaping ahead, and since Weston-Mott produc- 
tion was primarily tied to Buick production, the company had 
to match the expansion of Buick at every step. In February, 
1907, Buick made news by consigning 90 Buicks the regular 
2-cylinder, model F to the Pense Auto Company of Min- 
neapolis, all shipped on one special 30-car train. 

Almost every week saw some new report of Buick plans for 
enlargement of production facilities, with orders exceeding 
capacity. More than 4,000 men and women were employed in 
the more than 80 "manufactories" in Flint In December, 
1907, the W. F. Stewart Body Company found it necessary to 
schedule evening overtime to meet the demand for buggy and 
automobile bodies. But these were not the only vehicles being 
built in Flint The W. A. Paterson Company reported having 
built and sold nearly 3,000 sleighs in the current season end- 
ing the day before Christmas. 

With all these signs of progress and expansion in Flint, the 
year 1907 was difficult in many ways. Among the voluminous 
notes Mott has kept, there is one which states: 

Back about March, 1907, there was a "Bank Freeze-up* 1 
of funds, and there was cash available only for minimum 
payroll. All automobile manufacturers except W. C. Durant 
quit production, but not the visionary W. C., who kept on 
full-steam-ahead, and as cars could not be sold because no 
one had money to pay for them, Durant filled all available 
warehouses with Buick cars, and when in the course of months 
the money market "unfroze" Durant had the finished cars 
to sell and how he sold them and made a lot of money with 
which he enlarged Buick to make more cars, was really some- 
thing and gives you an idea of the kind of man this Billy 

Durant was All of our customers except Buick held 

up their orders and we could make no collections. I can't 
remember how we scraped together enough money to meet 
payrolls. I visited all of our customers and prevailed upon 
them to settle their accounts with us, with bunches of notes 

of $1,000 or so each, and then I undertook to settle my ac- 
counts payable with these notes endorsed. Many came back 
to me with the statement that they had to have the money. 
I had to again send them the notes with invitation to come 
to Flint and help us get cash on percentage basis. The notes 
were accepted and, I presume, passed on to our creditors' 
creditors, and we discovered a new elastic currency. When, 
later in the year, the panic passed, and cash was available, these 
notes were paid off while other creditors were getting notes. 
And Durant and Buick made a killing with the large stock 
of cars they had accumulated while other manufacturers 
were shut down. 

Within a year after Mott moved to Flint, his partner, W. G. 
Doolittle, died. This threw the entire responsibility for the 
financial aspects of the business on Mott, in addition to produc- 
tion and sales. According to the contract between the two men, 
Mott exercised the right to purchase the deceased partner's 
stock at the stipulated figure. This made him sole owner of 
the Weston-Mott Company. 

Buick expansion continued, both in production and in the 
building of additional plant space. In June, 1908, the Buick 
plant was reported to be turning out a complete car every 12 
minutes, and output was increasing. The plant operated 18 
to 20 hours a day, and total output that June was 1,654 cars. 
Buick won more racing trophies in 1908 than all other cars 
combined, and that was the year when the famous Buick model 
10 captured the imagination of men and women throughout 
the country. The boom was on for Buick, for Weston-Mott, 
and for Flint. It carried into 1909, when Buick production 
passed the 10,000-car mark. 

As for Weston-Mott, in the year beginning August 1, 1908, 
the company's sales topped $2 million for the first time. Of 
that sum, more than $500,000 was accounted total profit The 
next year, the original $500,000 capitalization of Weston-Mott 
was increased to $1.5 million and sales were more than $5.5 
million. Such increase of production could be accomplished 
only by tremendous expansion of plant, facilities, and working 


force. In October, 1908, the Weston-Mott Company con- 
tracted for a plant expansion to provide 105,000 additional 
square feet of floor space. The company had about 500 em- 
ployees and the new addition was to make room for 250 more. 

This was a period of highly diversified and intensive activity 
for Mott himself. He hired most of his executives during this 
period, and functioned as sales manager and chief salesman for 
the company. He also found time to follow his interest in 
engineering and design. Mott notes: "For the first years there 
was a question whether the engineer or I designed the axles. 
In other words, I would explain the thing, talk it over, and 
decide what we wanted to do, how we wanted to do it, and the 
engineer would put it on paper. But I'm not trying to take 
anything away from the engineers. In the course of time, it 
became the responsibility of the engineering department, but 
for a long time it was my responsibility." Among those 
Weston-Mott engineers was F. A. Bower, later to become a 
distinguished chief engineer of Buick and one of the most 
active citizens of Flint in civic affairs. 

No matter how busy he was, Mott held fast to his belief in 
personal management. While able and willing to delegate both 
responsibility and authority, he has never relinquished his own 
sense of personal responsibility for accomplishment of estab- 
lished purposes in the most effective possible ways. He also 
found time for interests and activities outside the immediate 
scope of the Weston-Mott Company. Asked if he would like 
to become a director of Genesee County Savings Bank, Mott 
accepted on the basis that he had had no experience in bank- 
ing but thought it was a good time to learn. 

1908 was a great year for Flint in many ways. It saw the 
final transfer of all Buick operations from Jackson to Flint 
and the increase of employment at the Buick plant to about 
2,500 men. Albert Champion came to Flint and, with others, 
founded the Champion Ignition Company. The Flint Journal 
reported: "Mr. Champion is said to be the world's champion 
motor-cyclist. He has taken prizes in almost every land, it is 

stated, and has paced the greatest bicycle riders of the world. 
The devices which will be manufactured by the new concern 
are stated to be entirely his own invention." Champion was to 
remain an important and colorful figure in the automotive 
world, and his initials are still embodied in the name of the 
AC Spark Plug Division of General Motors. 

The most significant event of all in 1908 was the birth of 
General Motors, with the official certificate of incorporation 
filed in New Jersey, September 16, 1908. Duranfs urge for 
expansion, founded on the success of Buick and the necessity 
for increased facilities to meet the rising demand, was driving 
for new channels. One of the first acts of General Motors was 
the acquisition of 49 per cent of the stock of Weston-Mott 
Company, leaving Mott still in control but tied closely to the 
future of General Motors. Within another year, General 
Motors acquired some twenty companies in the automobile 
industry including Olds, Cadillac, and Oakland, so that sev- 
eral Weston-Mott customers became part of General Motors, 
thus increasing the already close relationship between the two 
companies. Weston-Mott, however, still had outside customers. 

A letter Mott addressed on July 31, 1909, to Durant illu- 
minates the problems accompanying ever-increasing produc- 
tion and the need for perpetual expansion. 

July 31st, 1909 
Mr. W. C. Durant, 

c/o General Motors Co., 
New York, N.Y. 

Dear Sin- 
Enclosed please find copy of letter which I sent over to 
Mr. Little yesterday and which we have gone over in detail 
with him today. In further explanation will state that the out- 
side contracts that we have taken on amount to about 30,000 
sets and we presume that we have turned down other business 
of equal amount. The 30,000 plus the 44,000 that we had 
figured for General Motors Co., would have taken our capac- 
ity and we should have had to work night and day to take 


care of it. The additional 30,000 that you require is in excess 
of what we feel we can take care of with present plans for 
factory and equipment. The new factory Mr. Wood is going 
to put up for us back of Imperial will be 400 ft. long, 74 ft. 
wide, two stories and basement and he said he could have 
this ready within three months from the time we placed order 
three weeks ago, but we presume we will be lucky if we get 
into it early in November. 

Mr. Bassett feels that if we give him another factory same 
size as above mentioned to be placed along side of it back 
of the Imperial that he can equip that factory for front axles 
using our present factory for rears and thereby be able to 
get out the 25,000 Model 10's and 5,000 deliveries that 
we would otherwise be unable to produce. He feels that that 
will be all of the output we could expect to obtain from the 
new factory this year but that in 1911 these additions would 
enable us to considerable increase in our output. 

Mr. Wood is out of town today but we presume if we 
placed order with him at once that it would be December 
first before he could get the building finished. 

Regarding amount of funds necessary to handle this ex- 
tension, will say that we should want to cover the building, ad- 
ditional machinery and equipment, the stock and increased 
account at least $400,000.00 more than our present plans, and 
in order to take care of these we should require $100,000.00 
of it available in September, $100,000.00 October, $100,- 
000.00 November, and $100,000.00 December, to be bor- 
rowed on notes maturing not earlier than August or September 
1910. This money we would want to borrow aside from our 
present sources of supply for in order to carry out our present 
plans to get out the original 75,000 sets we figure that we would 
want to increase the capital stock by $300,000.00 cash one- 
half by General Motors Co., and one-half by myself. What 
additional money we needed we would be able to borrow from 
banks with which we are at present doing business, this with 
the understanding that we can depend upon your advice that 
you have an outlet where we can use all of the General Motors 
constituent companies' notes which we may receive in payment 
of account. Furthermore, it is with the understanding that the 
Weston-Mott Co., will not be called upon to furnish any addi- 

tional cash capital or cash loan to the Oak Park Power Co., for 
if it is up to us to do this we shall have to have borrowing 
capacity for just that much more. 

Mr. Little requested me to write you in full as above stating 
that you would be in New York on Tuesday and would wire 
me as to whether or not to proceed on above basis with your 
assurance that the financial proposition would be taken care 
of as above outlined. 

The material situation is very serious with us and we have 
requested Mr. Chapin of Brown-Lipe Gear Co., to be here 
on Tuesday and the Union Drop Forge Co., on Thursday. 

Trusting that this covers the ground and awaiting your 
wire, I am, 

Very truly yours, 
C. S. Mott 

These immediate problems were solved temporarily, as 
were the hundreds of others that came up every week. Designs 
also changed, and there was a perpetual need for new engineer- 
ing and production developments. Weston-Mott had been 
buying differential gears from the Brown-Lipe Company and 
was that firm's largest customer. A decision was made to use 
a new bevel-gear differential for Buick, Cadillac, Olds, and 
Oakland. Mott called H. W. Chapin, secretary of the Brown- 
Lipe Company, to Flint and asked him. whether his company 
was prepared to make the new bevel gear. Chapin realized 
that tooling costs would be tremendous, but made an imme- 
diate decision to undertake the manufacture of the new design. 
Additional financing was needed, and as a result the Brown- 
Lipe-Chapin Company, with Mott furnishing half the capital, 
was organized to handle the production. The company entered 
into a contract with General Motors in February, 1910, and 
later became part of General Motors. 

The Weston-Mott Company, for all its close relationship 
with General Motors, still maintained its separate entity, and 
Mott had no hesitation in exercising the control represented 
by his 51 per cent of the stock. 

On May 6, 1910, Durant sent Mott the following telegram: 



Mott telegraphed the following reply: 


The difficulty to which Mott referred in this telegram 
getting materials and supplies to keep up with increased orders 
applied with even more force to General Motors as a whole. 
This problem of getting materials, coupled with an almost 
incredible program of expansion, brought General Motors into 
troubled times in 1910. In spite of enormous sales, expansion 
had been so rapid, and so many companies had been pur- 
chased, that a great deal of money was needed. When Durant 
found that the only way to secure the money was to relinquish 
his own management of General Motors, he did so. In Septem- 
ber, 1910, General Motors gave a five-year 6 per cent note for 
$15 million and common stock worth $2 million to get 
$12,750,000 in cash to meet obligations. The Eastern bankers 
who made the loan were also given control of the company 
through a voting trust. It is a tribute to the vitality of the young 
General Motors Company that it was able to survive such a 
crisis. Durant remained a director, but busied himself with 
other interests. 

1910 had begun as a boom year in Flint, with a happy 

accounting of the fantastic gains of 1909. Buick introduced 
two new models, the No. 19 touring car and the No. 14 run- 
about along with continued production of the pioneer model 
F, and the No. 10, No. 16, and No. 17. A state labor-bureau 
report showed that average daily wages had increased from 
$2.20 to $2.62 in 1909. Almost 500 women were employed in 
Flint factories, and their average daily wage had also increased 
from $1.13 in 1908 to $1.18 in 1909. Flint entered 1910 
as fourth city in Michigan in the number of wage-earners em- 
ployed, having more than doubled its number of workers dur- 
ing 1909. There were more than 10,000 employed in Flint 
factories at the beginning of 1910, compared with 4,449 in 

The automobile was beginning to become a major item in 
world commerce, with the United States second to France in 
the value of cars exported. Buick was sweeping along trium- 
phantly, having made 4,437 cars in the last quarter of 1909 
more than twice as many as Cadillac. Buick's output in that 
quarter almost equalled the combined production of Reo, 
Hudson, Regal, Franklin, Peerless, Fierce-Arrow, Mitchell, 
and Stoddard-Dayton cars in the same period. It was claimed 
that half the cars sold in Detroit in 1909 were Buicks. In the 
first quarter of 1910, Buick made 6,478 cars, an increase of 
nearly 50 per cent over the last quarter of 1909. 

Flint was at the peak of activity, and in August, 1910, the 
following official census figures summarized the stoiy of the 
growth of Flint: 


















It was in the midst of this roaring boom that the General 
Motors expansion stumbled over its own magnitude and al- 
most crashed of its own weight. More literally, the demands 
of expansion went millions of dollars beyond available funds 
and the day came when Durant negotiated the incredibly 
expensive loan from Eastern bankers at the cost of his personal 
control of the company he had created. Through the whole 
difficult period, Durant issued optimistic statements. Although 
the group providing the new financing insisted upon Durant's 
relinquishing control of General Motors, they accepted his 
recommendation that Charles W. Nash then superintendent 
of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company be made general 
manager of Buick. The announcement of this fact was made 
September 17, 1910, in a Flint newspaper, in the customary 
euphemistic terms requiring more than a little reading be- 
tween the lines. 


Charles W. Nash, of this city, will assume charge of the 
plant of the Buick Motor company on Monday as general 
manager of that big industrial institution. This change comes 
as a sequel to a readjustment of the business of the company 
which has been in progress for the last several weeks. The 
appointment of Mr. Nash was made at the insistence of 
W. C. Durant under whose direction the plant has been 
operated and who has found it necessary to relinquish official 
duties which have called for more time and attention than 
he could well spare from the General Motors company and 
other interests with which he is actively identified. 

The business of general manager was tendered to Mr. 
Nash by Mr. Durant six months ago, but its acceptance was 
delayed until the present time, owing to the fact that Mr. 
Nash had made all arrangements for an extended trip abroad 
from which he recently returned. It is understood that Mr. 
Nash will have full charge and control of the business of the 
Buick Motor company in all its departments and that he will 
devote his entire time to its interests. 

Mr. Nash has heretofore been prominent in the indus- 
trial affairs of Flint having been for a number of years gen- 
eral superintendent of the associated factories of the Durant- 
Dort Carriage Co. as vice-president of that organization and 
a director of the Flint Varnish Works. Mr. Nash has been 
in Boston for the last few days on business connected with 
the Buick Motor company and is expected to return to this 
city tomorrow. 

There are seven models in the Buick line for 1911, and 
all of them give promise of meeting with a favorable recep- 
tion at the hands of the trade. The company is behind in its 
orders and is turning out cars at the rate of about 65 per day. 
The shipments for the 6 working days of last month 
amounted to an even 400 cars, and the plant is working today 
to produce 102 cars to bring the total for this week up to the 
same number as last week. The number of cars turned out 
for this week up to last night was 298. The number of men 
employed in the several mechanical departments of the Buick 
plant is upwards of 2300; the exact number on the payroll 
yesterday, being 2393. 

At the same time, there were cautious reassurances to a 
worried Flint that "arrangements" had been made to secure 
the financial stability of General Motors. In the meantime, 
the working force at Buick had dropped under 2,500, and there 
was considerable delay in getting the 1911 models ready. In 
late September and early October, the details of the new financ- 
ing reached the public. By October 10, the plant-expansion 
activities were resumed at the Buick drop-forge plant. By Feb- 
ruary, 1911, Buick employment was back up to 4,800, and 
Weston-Mott had 1,000 workers. 



The fears and uncertainties of 1910, as they affected Flint 
people, contributed to one rather remarkable event in the 
town's political history: Flint elected a Socialist Mayor in 
1911. This distinct shock to the "old Flint" people and the 
business and industrial men suggested the unpredictability of 
the thousands of "new" people who had been drawn to Flint 
from every point of the compass. Indirectly, it had a strong 
influence on Mott's future. 

A Detroit newspaper story of May 30, 191 1, gave the public 
a hint of what Durant had been doing with his time since re- 
linquishing active management of General Motors. It also 
introduced a new automobile name, but no one could have 
guessed then just how large that name would be written on 
the futures of Flint, General Motors, Durant, Mott, and the 
automotive world. 


W. C. Durant of the General Motors company and racer 
Louis Chevrolet, one of the speed wonders of the day and 
a co-worker with Mr. Durant in the manufacture and ex- 
ploitation of fast cars, will establish a factory in Detroit for the 
manufacture of a new high-priced car whose chief distinctive 
feature will be an engine perfected during the last winter by 
Chevrolet assisted financially by Durant. 

After Chevrolet goes through the 500 mile race on the 
Indianapolis speedway today he will enter a commercial race 
for those rich rewards that go not to the drivers but to the 
manufacturers of automobiles. 

For the first time since his retirement last October, Chev- 
rolet is expected to be in the big auto racing event of the 
year today. He was at first listed as a relief driver but on 


petitions of the pilots entered he was announced to drive a 
Buick in the contest. 

Last winter at a garage on Grand River Avenue in this 
city, Chevrolet experimented secretly with a new type engine 
that is to be the chief selling advantage in the new car. Chev- 
rolet is of French-Swiss birth. He came to America in 1900 
after securing in France a complete education in automobile 
construction and driving where he made a record as a rac- 
ing driver and expert. He has been a winner in many races 
of national fame. After severing other connections he en- 
gaged with Buick in 1908. As a skilled mechanic he was 
retained in a business way by Mr. Durant. 

The new Durant-Chevrolet car, it is stated, will be of high 
grade. Mr. Durant will make his headquarters in Detroit 
though he will retain his interest in the carriage works in 
Flint with which he has been identified for many years. 

On July 31, 1911, a second Durant activity emerged the 
Mason Motor Company. On October 30, 1911, a third Durant 
project was announced: the Little Motor Company of Flint 
The company was named for W. H. Little, former Buick fac- 
tory manager. Little, and two other notable Flint men, C. M. 
Begole and W. S. Ballenger, appeared as incorporators of the 
new company, but it was known, of course, that Durant was 
the "moving spirit of the enterprise." 

The old Flint Wagon Works plant had been acquired with 
871,000 square feet of floor space, and Durant said its capacity 
would be 15,000 cars a year. He planned to make a 4-cylinder 
runabout with self-starter to sell for $600. He also planned 
a 24-horsepower 6-cylinder car to be sold at $1,400. Thus in 
a year the irrepressible Durant bounced back with three com- 
panies sustained at first chiefly by the magical luster of his 
name and the confidence of his old friends among whom 
Mott was one. 

In November, 1911, Mott was making his second trip to 
Europe this time as a member of the Society of Automobile 
Engineers. He made H. H. Bassett general manager of the 


Weston-Mott Company and felt freer than ever before to 
permit himself outside interests. Bassett announced that Wes- 
ton-Mott business was unusually good, and that the company's 
employment had reached 1,400, with still more being added 
as fast as materials could be secured for them to work on. He 
also mentioned the fine business during 1911 with the new 
demountable wheel rims invented by E. K. Baker. 

Mott, of course, had not been unaware of Durant's new 
gestures in automobile manufacturing. In August, 1911, Du- 
rant had invited Mott to join the Chevrolet venture. 

Cadillac Hotel, 
Detroit, Michigan, 
August 22, 1911. 

Mr. C. S. Mott, 

Flint, Michigan. 

My dear Mr. Mott: 

I have reserved $250,000 worth of stock for you in our 
new company and you can send me check for the whole 
or any part of it at your convenience. 

We have decided to establish permanently in Detroit and 
have secured an ideal location. Construction work will com- 
mence this fall. The arrangement of the plant will be similar 
to the Buick but somewhat larger. 

Everybody goes in on the same basis excepting Mr. Little, 
who subscribes for $250,000 of the stock, paying in $125,- 
000 and giving his notes (twenty-five for $5,000 each, draw- 
ing interest at the rate of 5 % ) for the balance, secured by 
the $125,000 stock issued against the notes. As the notes 
are retired, an equal amount of stock is to be released. In case 
he becomes incapacitated and is unable to give his undivided 
attention to the business, any remaining unpaid notes are to be 
cancelled and the stock returned to the treasury of the com- 
pany. All of the subscribers will agree to the above, everyone 
of whom are on the same basis excepting Mr. Little. 

I think you will be quite pleased with the plan, policy of the 
company and product I will explain more fully when I see 


If you prefer, the subscription can be made and the stock 
issued in the name of some other party and endorsed over 
to you. 

Address next ten days care Cadillac Hotel this city. 

Yours sincerely, 
W. C. Durant 
P.S. I would very much like to have you actively interested. 

Mott did not write in reply at the time, but discussed the 
offer with Durant somewhat later. At the beginning of October, 
Durant wrote again, this time with an invitation to subscribe 
for stock in the Little Motor Car Company. 

October 2nd, 1911. 
Mr. C. S. Mott, 
Flint, Michigan. 

Dear Mr. Mott: 

A new organization for the manufacture of motor cars 
in Flint is contemplated and the property of the Flint Wagon 
Works has been secured for the purpose. 

The plant will be entirely remodeled and when completed 
will have approximately 350,000 sq. feet of floor space with 
a capacity of 20,000 cars per year. 

The new company, which will be called the Little Motor 
Car Company, will have a capitalization of $500,000 pre- 
ferred and $700,000 common, of which $207,000 of pre- 
ferred and $469,100 common has been subscribed. 

The company has obtained a contract and license from the 
Chevrolet Motor Company for a term of years which en- 
ables it to manufacture an attractive line of motor cars with- 
out experimental or engineering expense (the heaviest ex- 
pense items connected with the motor car business) and by 
reason of this arrangement will be able to turn out a finished 
product in ample time for the 1912 trade. 

I propose to give my personal attention to the building up 
of the organization and am in hopes of restoring to Flint one 
of its oldest and until recent years one of its largest manu- 
facturing institutions. 

$293,000 of preferred stock (the balance of the capital 


stock) is being offered at par with a bonus of 50% of com- 
mon stock and $10,000 of this subscription is allotted to you. 
Will you advise promptly if you are in position to handle 
it or to what extent I can count upon you for financial support 
in this undertaking? 

It is necessary for me to add that I recommend this in- 

Yours very truly, 
W. C. Durant 

P.S. The principal subscribers to date are as follows: C. M. 
Begole, $138,000 preferred, $69,000 common; W. S. Bal- 
lenger, $69,000 preferred, $34,500 common. 

Mott replied immediately, accepting the offer. In March, 
1912, Durant wrote to Mott again on the question of the 
Chevrolet stock reserved for him. Mott's reply is of special 
interest because it reflects his belief that a man should be able 
to observe and follow up an investment; he was not inclined 
to make an investment in Detroit business because he did not 
expect to be in Detroit. Further, the letter expresses his in- 
creasingly warm feeling for Flint, its people, and the men of 
his own organization. 

March 29, 1912 
Mr. W. C. Durant, 

c/o Chevrolet Motor Co., 
Detroit, Michigan. 

Dear Mr. Durant: 

I have just received yours of 21st inst. on my return from 
New York City where I spent a few days with Mrs. Mott, who 
has been indisposed for past six months. 

There was a time when, especially through my friendship 
with Bill Little, I felt I would like to have an interest in the 
Chevrolet Company, but much time has since elapsed during 
which I have turned the matter over in my mind consider- 
ably and discussed it with my people in the East, and I have 
come to the conclusion that ultimately I will find my way 
back to New York State, where I was born and brought up, 
and have many friends and relatives of my wife's as well as 

my own, and I, therefore, feel it inadvisable to make a large 
investment in Detroit. 

I have, as you are aware, subscribed for Little Motor Car 
Company and Copeman Electric Stove Company, stock which 
was allotted me, and thus am with you to a certain extent 
at least. I like Flint people and have many friends here from 
whom it would be hard to break away, and I do not think I 
will ever do so absolutely. I have developed the Weston-Mott 
Co. to such an extent for the past twelve years at the expense 
of my energy, and there are so many of my boys in my or- 
ganization that I naturally want to see them and the business 
thrive and prosper, no matter who owns the stock or whether 
I am financially remunerated or not. My feeling toward you, 
Bill Little and the old crowd has not changed, but my Western 
interests will be confined to Flint. 

Trusting that you will understand me better than I can 
write and with kind regards, I am, 

Very truly yours, 
C. S. Mott 

When he replied to Durant's letter Mott had already dem- 
onstrated a new interest in Flint. On March 7, 1912, he had 
been nominated as the Independent Citizens' Party candidate 
for mayor of Flint with a majority of 635 votes over the 
other three primary candidates in the heaviest primary vote 
recorded in Flint to that time. 

Flint's election of a Socialist mayor, John A. C. Menton, 
in 1911, had jolted Flint business and industrial people. With 
the 1912 campaign coming up, Republicans and Democrats 
joined forces in a new Independent Citizens' Party, and a group 
of Motf s friends persuaded him to become the new party's 
candidate for mayor. With Bassett carrying more of the load 
at the Weston-Mott Company, Mott felt relieved of many 
obligations. Asked many years later why so many people 
wanted him to run for mayor, Mott remembered casually: "I 
was a businessman who had conducted a good-sized business 
on a safe and sound basis. I was friendly with everybody, and 
I didn't have any enemies. They probably thought that a suc- 


cessM businessman could do more for the city than a Socialist 

Mott's first public statement after announcing his candidacy 
on the Independent Citizens' ticket has that straightforward, 
down-to-earth quality which has always been characteristic 
of him. 

This is my platform. I have no radical ideas on city govern- 

I am in favor of public improvements good schools, 
good and properly cared for streets, public parks, and free 
public baths. 

The city of Flint should have a sufficient supply of good 
water and it should have as much in the way of public con- 
venience as any other city of its size in the country has. 

I believe that a mayor should endeavor to enforce the laws 
and ordinances on the statutes, to assist in the passage and 
enforcement of additional regulations for the proper protec- 
tion of life, health, and property and for the general welfare 
of the community without regard to personal or party prej- 

If I am elected mayor of Flint, I shall endeavor to cooper- 
ate with the common council along these lines for the benefit 
of our city at large. 

I am not an orator. I am not given to flowery speech- 
making. I do not believe in bull-dozing. The people who 
vote for me with the idea that I am going to carry things with 
a high hand in the council will be disappointed if I am elected. 
I will use my own methods to bring about the passage of any 
measures that I advocate, but my methods will always be fair 
and above-board. The political preferment of the men with 
whom I might be working would not influence me in any ac- 
tion that might be taken or anticipated by the council. The 
making and enforcing of laws for the betterment of the city 
as a whole and for the people of the city as a whole would be 
my sole aim. 

This is the platform upon which I stand today and upon 
which I will continue to stand throughout the tenure of my 
office if I am elected. My interests are coincident with the 


city at large and with the business, professional, and working 
men and their general welfare. I have the time to give much 
of my attention to the affairs of the city and will not do it 
sparingly if elected. 

I feel under a compliment to Flint. Its people have been 
very kind to me since I came here a stranger five years ago 
and if a majority of them express their preference for me to 
handle their affairs as the city's executive officer I will re- 
ciprocate to the very best of my ability. 

The campaign received great publicity, in which the most 
impressive theme was that Mott was the "candidate of the 
factory men" meaning the hourly rated workers as much 
as he was the candidate of business and industrial leaders. 
His easy victory in the primary was greeted by enthusiastic 
statements from many of Flint's outstanding citizens. 

As the campaign continued, there seemed almost to be a 
competitive spirit to find new ways of endorsing Mott's can- 
didacy both by the city's leadership and the men in the shops. 
There were also long debates about socialism in the papers. 
Of the seventeen points in the Socialist platform, the seventh 
may well have made a lasting impression on Mott's memory: 
"We insist that school buildings shall be open for the use of 
the public, when not in use for school purposes." It is a delight- 
ful irony that this Socialist demand of 1912 should have been 
brought into rich realization twenty-three years later in Flint 
by Mott as a demonstration of capitalist democracy at work. 

In the campaign, the Socialists attacked Mott as "Flint 
Representative of Wall Street Interests," and claimed that he 
wanted to be mayor in order to have his taxes reduced. They 
asked him to permit the use of his factories during the noon 
hour to hold Socialist meetings presumably to advance the 
candidacy of his opponent, Mayor John A. C. Menton. Mott 

Amid Socialist talk of exploited workers, the papers friendly 
to Mott announced that the Weston-Mott average wage for 
factory men excluding foremen, superintendents, and office 


men, but including skilled and unskilled labor, boys, laborers, 
and sweepers was 27.25^ per hour, the highest rate known 
anywhere in the country. Amazing as that figure is to us now, 
it may also be noted that in Flint, at the same time, No. 1 
round steak was 12# a pound, No. 1 regular sugar cured hams, 
13$ a pound; sausage 10^ a pound; corned beef, 10^ a pound; 
eggs, 220 a dozen; ginger snaps, 4 pounds for a quarter; 
"women's 16 button, high cut, velvet shoes," $1.98; men's 
spring suits and overcoats, "made to your order," $15 to 

A Chicago Socialist, Edward J. McGurty, was brought in to 
conduct the campaign against Mott and teach the Socialist 
economic concept to Flint so that the people who were coming 
from all over the country for Flint's relatively high wages 
could make the astounding discovery that they were being 
exploited. It is another of those cyclic humors of the years 
that, in 1957, Mott was to give the University of Chicago $1 
million for a building to house a staff concentrating on teach- 
ing everybody the economic ABC's. 

In 1912, the attacks were hot and heavy, personal and 
vitriolic. Socialist atheism and free love were much discussed 
on the one hand, and taxdodging, labor blacklists, and Wall 
Street bosses on the other. Everyone, it seemed, felt deeply 
and spoke loudly. 

As the campaign drew to a climax before the April 1 elec- 
tion, each faction had a mildly embarrassing bit of adverse 
publicity. Mott's good friend Charles W. Nash, the man Du- 
rant had recommended as general manager of Buick, was ar- 
rested. The Flint Journal story made a virtue of necessity, but 
the Socialist press was quick to say, "The man arrested for 
working boys overtime will vote for Mott." The Journal story 
is worth quoting; if public relations people are seeking ex- 
amples of sincere and graceful handling of an embarrassing 
situation, here is a classic: 

Charles W. Nash, general manager of the Buick Motor 
company, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a charge of vio- 


lating the state labor laws. The specific charge was that boys 
under the age of 18 years had been kept at work by the Buick 
Motor company for more than 54 hours a week. The warrant 
was served on Mr. Nash by Chief of Police McCall and fol- 
lowed a complaint made by William E. Washburn, state labor 
inspector, of Owosso. Mr. Nash was arraigned in Justice 
Halsey's court and pleaded guilty. He was fined $5, which 
he paid. 

"I am glad that this case was brought against us," said 
Mr. Nash to the Journal this morning. "It will serve as a warn- 
ing to our foremen and superintendents to not violate the law. 
The trouble in this particular case is that a number of foremen 
and superintendents were not familiar with the law. This is the 
reason it was violated. I wrote a letter to the state commis- 
sioner of labor this morning congratulating him on having an 
inspector who was attending to his duties at aH times. 

"There are a large number of people who believe that state 
officers are inclined to wink at violations of the state laws by 
large corporations. I want it thoroughly understood that the 
Buick Motor company does not wish to be winked at. We 
propose to run our business in accordance with every letter of 
the law. I hope that should there be any more violations of 
the state labor law in our factory that the inspectors will pro- 
ceed just as they did in this case." 

Inspector Washburn gave the f ollowing statement in regard 
to the case: 

"The complaint in this case came in the form of a letter 
to the state labor commissioner's office. The violations were 
alleged in several parts of the Buick factories. 

"In fairness to both Mr. Nash and his assistant, Mr. Allen, 
I wish to state that I am convinced they were perfectly inno- 
cent of the fact that the law was being violated. They are very 
fair-minded men and were perfectly willing to correct the 
conditions. Mr. Nash has seen to it that notices of the 54-hour 
law have been posted in every department of the factory and 
is supporting me every way he can in the enforcement of the 

The Flint Arrow published a story about the arrest of the 
Socialist candidate for supervisor of Flint's third ward, who 


had "careened around Police Headquarters" daring the police 
to arrest him. The story continues, "After listening to his 
drunken abuse for half-an-hour and making repeated efforts 
to have the inebriated candidate for civic honors go home 
peaceably, Night Sergeant McLean took his dare and had him 
locked up in the county jail." The next morning the candidate 
pleaded guilty, and was given a suspended sentence. 

April 1 came, and Mott and the other Independent Citizens' 
Party candidates were swept into office. Mott received 3,920 
votes to Menton's 2,358. Mott issued the following statement: 

I will stick to my platform. 

I will be mayor for ALL of the people of Flint 

I want to compliment and congratulate the men and women 
of Flint on the splendid showing they made Monday in the 
complete victory with tremendous majorities for the Inde- 
pendent Citizens' Party. 

All of the wards did splendidly, and the 1st, 5th, and 6th 
wards particularly so. 

I am sure that every man elected has the interest of the 
public at heart and we will all cooperate and work hard to 
give the city the best there is in us. 

I am grateful to the electors for their confidence and their 

Mott took office on April 8, 1912, and began devoting him- 
self to learning the complexities of Flint's municipal problems. 
Sewers were of insufficient capacity, where they existed at all. 
Streets were inadequate and in poor condition. The water sup- 
ply was in question. Fire protection was in serious need of 
improvement. There were some 40,000 people living in a 
city with municipal facilities for 10,000 people. 

A sane and perceptive editorial in the Flint Journal of April 
2, 1912, recognized the functional, if strange, contribution of 
the Socialists to Flint's awakening in the matter of effective 

When the electors of Flint voted to place Charles S. Mott 
in the mayor's chair and elected all of the candidates of the 


Independent Citizens' party they declared for a business ad- 
ministration of the city government with a capable business 
man at the head. An analysis of the returns will show that 
it was not a vote of class against class, but a vote of the 
majority of the citizens of Flint for a party ticket which stood 
upon a platform of progress, efficiency and desired reforms. 
Leaving all isms, economic, and other side issues out of the 
question, the real determination of the electors was to place 
in office the men who they deemed big enough to handle the 
problems before the people at this time. . . . 

Credit must not be taken away from the party which was 
defeated in yesterday's election. The Socialists came into the 
city government of Flint at a time when there was a wide- 
spread protest against existing conditions. They awakened the 
people of Flint to the need of a business administration, and 
although the Socialists were selected as the ones to suffer as 
the result of the awakening which they themselves had brought 
about, it must be acknowledged that their advent into city 
affairs has galvanized into renewed life the public conscience, 
which henceforth will see that city affairs are rightly con- 
ducted. The people of Flint were suffering from the hook- 
worm in their city affairs until the Socialists pricked them and 
awakened the electors to the fact that Flint ought to have a 
business administration and an efficient city government. 

The prospects for the coming year are bright. Men devoted 
to the city and its advancement have been chosen, and their 
ability is unquestioned. This year should be one of the best in 
the city's history, from the standpoint of capable government. 



Mayor Mott began his administration with a frank announce- 
ment that he had a lot to learn about city affairs, but that he 
was in the process of getting the facts. He proposed to keep the 
public informed as to actions contemplated and taken, and the 
reasons for those actions so that the public would really know 
what was going on in Flint's city government. He also stated 
another principle for the city which he has followed consist- 
ently in his own business affairs: getting the greatest value for 
every dollar spent. 

Of all Flint's problems, the need for storm sewers was the 
greatest. Many years later Mott made these notes about the 
sewer situation in Flint in 1912: 

It was only a few days after I took office as Mayor of 
Flint, in April, 1912, when we had a heavy rain storm. The 
next morning a woman living on Avenue A or B, and just off 
Detroit Street phoned me and told me that the sewer had 
backed up into, and filled her cellar with water and sewage, 
and she invited me to come up and look at it, which I im- 
mediately did, and found that it was five or six feet deep in 
her cellar. 

Up to that time storm water catch basins, etc., were led 
into the only sewer pipes which we had; namely, sanitary, and 
when these were overloaded from higher ground, and capacity 
at lower end was over-taxed, it caused backflow, with results 
as indicated. Then, too, in North end of city (that would be 
northwest of the corner of Leith Street and Industrial Avenue) , 
there was no provision for getting rid of storm water, and one 
bad storm that we had flooded that entire section, several feet 
deep, and even up to the kitchen stoves on the first floor 

I called into consultation Professor Riggs of Department of 
Sanitation at the University of Michigan, and he sent over 
Professor Hoad and Assistants, and they undertook and pro- 

duced a complete set of sewer plans for the city of Flint. Up 
to that time the plans, or records of sewers put in were drawn 
on sheets of paper of various sizes, and no record of relation 
to each other, or to a standard "bench mark." And, in many 
cases it took actual digging to determine this relation. 

Complete plans for the city were made, and practically all 
sewers at present existent were planned for exclusive sanitary 
use, and together with extensions, etc., and then a complete 
layout of storm water sewers adequate for the purpose. As had 
been the custom here-to-fore, assessments were made against 
the property benefited, but in the case of storm water sewers 
the property owners objected, and won a suit against the City, 
and the City had to put in the storm sewers at its own expense. 

About this time Labor News ran headlines, "Why Does 
Mayor Mott Want Storm Sewers?" The next day in Flint 
Journal were large reprints of pictures I had taken of the 
Leith Street Industrial Avenue section under flood, and under 
pictures was printed "Mayor Mott's Answer As To Why 
Storm Water Sewers Are Needed." 

Mott also found that he was an ex-officio member of the 
water board, and that there was no official record of the under- 
ground system since the only man who knew the location 
of the water mains apparently considered that his special 
knowledge made him indispensable as long as it was not com- 
mitted to paper. Mott prevailed upon the water board to secure 
a complete set of records of all water mains. 

Mott also notes a special problem of insurance classifica- 

During my first term as Mayor, local insurance agents got 
after me, and said that Flint was in the third rate classification, 
and that if we could get into the second class, then insurance 
rates on property in Flint would be reduced. 

I took the matter up with the National Board of Fire Under- 
writers, and was told that I had a lot of nerve in asking for 
improvement in classification when, as a matter of fact, they 
said they had already made a report showing what we had to 
do in the way of improvement in order to keep from being 


put into fourth class, where they said we belonged. I told them 
that I had seen the report, but it was too technical, and asked 
them to send one of their engineers to Flint, which they did, 
and I made a list of his requirements as to additional mains 
and connections, valves, hydrants, and enlarged pumping 
equipment to be put in. Also, list of additional fire-fighting 
equipment, fire hose, etc., etc. And he said that when we 
could accomplish all of those things we could get into second 

I got the approval of the Board of Aldermen, and the 
Chamber of Commerce and others, towards working on such 
a program, and in the course of years we got what was re- 
quired, and got into second class, 

In a rather unusual way, Mott made use of the newspapers 
to reach the public directly, with open letters telling everyone 
about the specifications of paving, about the operation of 
Flint's Hurley Hospital, and asking for public reactions and 
suggestions on various questions such as additional street 
lighting. He also made his own position on each issue very 
clear by this means. 

Mott called upon the public to take a real and active interest 
in city activities; he presented information about city affairs 
and problems through the press in a continuing attempt to have 
the public well-informed so that it could share the responsibility 
for all city actions. A water filtration plant was built, and 
sewer construction was under way interrupted by complaints 
from property owners about their assessments. Mott spent 
virtually full time on his $100-a-year job as mayor, and 
insisted that the voters, as "stockholders" in the City of Flint, 
had the duty of keeping informed on all problems involving the 

Mott's innovations in city government included a suggestion 
that a "municipal housekeeping commission" made up of 
women be appointed. This immediately aroused the suspi- 
cion of the Flint Equal Suffrage Association. Mott then pro- 
posed that the association nominate the members of such a 

commission. Mott also committed himself as a believer in 
equal suffrage with this statement: 

I believe in equal suffrage particularly for the benefit of the 
thousands of working women who are supporting themselves 
and sometimes their families and who have no one to repre- 
sent their interest. It is absurd to argue that if women gave 
proper attention to their homes and families they would take 
no time for voting. Men are able to carry on large business 
enterprises and still devote a part of their time to political 
affairs. The average woman has as much leisure as the average 
man in which to inform herself on public questions and if she 
wishes to, can give her thought to them while performing 
household tasks that are purely mechanical. I have never 
heard any logical argument against woman suffrage. 

During the same period, two of Duranf s Flint enterprises 
were flourishing: the Little Motor Car Company and the Mason 
Motor Company. A. B. C. Hardy was manager of the Little 
Motor Car Company, and, by the arrangement with the Whit- 
ing interests under which the old Flint Wagon Works had been 
secured, he had to manufacture buggies as well as cars. A 
newspaper item of June, 1912, mentions that 3,600 buggies 
had been turned out, as well as an increasing number of the 
popular Little cars. Mr. Hardy later stated that only $36,500 
in new cash was put into the Little Company and $10,000 
of that was a claim which the Weston-Mott Company had 
against the Wagon Works for axles. 

In August, 1912, it was announced that Flint was to get the 
Chevrolet Motor Company plant. Several factors made it 
advantageous for Durant to consolidate manufacturing opera- 
tions in Flint, rather than continue to make Chevrolet in 
Detroit. Out of the Little Motor Car Company, the Mason 
Motor Company, and Chevrolet, was to develop the powerful 
Chevrolet Motor Company which was to take such a domi- 
nant position in the automobile industry in years to come. 

By September, 1912, Weston-Mott was employing 1,675 
men, and hiring more every day, in addition to working over- 


time. The company was making more than twice as many 
axles, hubs, and rims as any of its competitors. Its customers 
outside General Motors included many track, electric car, and 
other automobile companies. 

Flint's growth was indicated by the 1912 school census, 
showing 1,190 more children of school age than in 1911 an 
increase from 6,687 to 7,877. Bank deposits showed increases 
in all five Flint banks, and Flint tax valuations jumped several 
million dollars. 

By October, Flint's total employment in the plants was 
reported as 8,000, an increase of 2,500 from the previous 
year. Buick's September production, 1,657 cars, exceeded any 
previous record. Former President Theodore Roosevelt visited 
the Buick plant, asking many questions of Nash, and talking 
with Mott in the Buick offices. Roosevelt expressed himself 
as amazed at the immensity of the operations. 

In November, 1912, Charles W. Nash was elected president 
of General Motors. Mott's affection and admiration for Nash 
are based on the long close friendship the two men enjoyed 
Mott found in Nash that rarest and most misnamed of quali- 
ties, "common sense." Nash had the true genius of perception, 
the ability to weigh and relate causes and effects and to pro- 
ject them to their inevitable results. The Flint Journal pub- 
lished a thumb nail sketch of Nash's career at the time of his 
election as president of General Motors. The amount of formal 
education Nash received can be guessed from the fact that he 
was "bound out" at the age of seven. 

1864 Born in DeKalb Co., Illinois on a farm. 

1866 Came to Forest township, Genesee Co., with his 

1871 Bound out to Robert Lathrop of Flushing to work 
14 years for $100 and three suits of clothes. 

1876 Ran away because of the irksome apprenticeship and 
hired out to work on the farms of L. J. Hitchcock of 
Grand Blanc and Alexander McFarlan in Mt. Morris. 

1881 Made his first business venture of any account when 
he entered haypressing partnership with W. J. Adams. 

1884 Married Miss Jessie Hallack of Burton. 

1889 Took job as clerk in grocery store of W. C. Pierce. 

1890 Went to Flint Road Cart Company, now Durant-Dort 
Carriage Company to work as a carriage trimmer for 
$1.00 per day. 

1910 Appointed general manager of the Buick Motor Com- 

1912 Elected president of the General Motors Corporation. 

Among the notes Mott has made from time to time about 
men he knew well, there is none so appealing as this incident 
he reports of C. W. Nash a man who never lost his simple, 
down-to-earth humanity for all the magnitude of his accom- 


All through his life, Charlie Nash was a kindly and con- 
siderate friend to mankind. I have hunted deer with him in 
the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and in the southern part of 
Texas. We have slept close together on cold nights. He was 
very handy at butcher work on the farm, and in hunting, and 
also an excellent cook in camp. 

One day I went bird hunting with him and several others 
quite some distance north of Bay City. He had arranged with 
a chap as guide, and this guide had an excellent bird dog that 
he valued highly. 

During a successful day's hunting, Charlie noticed that the 
guide seemed to have something very much on his mind. When 
we got back to camp and were eating supper, he managed to 
get out of the guide what the trouble was. The guide had a 
fourteen year old daughter who was troubled with a pain in 
her side, which seemed very serious. But the old local doctor 
said it was nothing but a "belly ache." Charlie got the idea 
that it might be something different, so quickly after supper 


he and the guide got in an automobile and drove some miles 
to the guide's home. 

Charlie examined the girl and came to the conclusion that 
she had an attack of appendicitis. He had the guide drive over 
to a place where they could telephone, and Charlie telephoned 
the Pere Marquette people in Bay City and, through his in- 
fluence as President of Buick, got the Pere Marquette Rail- 
road to stop their midnight train at the small local flag stop, 
at which time Charlie loaded the guide and his daughter on 
the train for Bay City. When they reached Bay City, Charlie 
had telephoned and arranged for an ambulance and doctor. 
The child was taken to hospital and successfully operated on 
for appendicitis and her life was saved. 

A few weeks later, Nash received a crate and in that 
crate was the wonderful bird dog the guide's most prized 
possession, the only gift he could find adequate for the man 
who had surely saved his daughter's life. 

It is said in Flint that W. C. Durant, one day observing 
Charles W. Nash cut a lawn, admired the way he worked, and 
offered him a job with the Durant-Dort company in the lowest 
common-labor classification. From this, Nash worked his way 
up to become superintendent of Durant-Dort and when the 
Eastern bankers wanted a man to head Buick at the time they 
displaced Durant's control in 1910, they accepted Durant's 
advice to put Nash in charge, although Nash had had no auto- 
making experience. Nash did a truly magnificent job with 
Buick, and in rebuilding the fortunes of General Motors. It 
is one of the most singular ironies that Nash resigned as presi- 
dent of General Motors later because Durant the man to 
whom he owed the two greatest opportunities of his life had 
come back into power. The fault was neither Nash's nor Du- 
rant's; there was no fault, really; there was only an irrecon- 
cilable difference between the ways in which the two men 
operated & difference deeply rooted in the essential natures 
of the two men. Mott has always had the most profound admi- 
ration for both men, but for Nash he has also a warm personal 


Weston-Mott wound up the year with awards and paid-up 
insurance policies for sixty-two employees who had been with 
the company five years or longer. Mott, in turn, was presented 
with a loving cup by his department heads as a Christmas gift 
Mott received another present, a Christmas stocking five feet 
long, presented to him at his office in the Flint City Hall. It 
contained samples of many Flint-made products, and toys 
symbolizing the many civic improvements he was trying to 
secure for Flint It was a friendly gesture expressing the grati- 
tude of the city to a man who was devoting full time to the 
presumably honorary job as mayor. Major problems as 1912 
ended were still a sewer plan, a park plan, a street-improve- 
ment plan, and a proposed charter revision which would pro- 
vide an appointive executive staff for the city. 

At the beginning of 1913, Flint took stock of itself and 
found a great deal to be proud of. Its factory production for 
the year just completed was valued at $30 million. There were 
8 theaters, 10 hotels, 25 churches, and 30 church societies. 
There were 150 miles of streets and 10 miles of pavement 
There was a new water-filtration plant. There were 21 public 
schools and one parochial school. There was the largest auto 
plant in the world, covering 56 acres. There was a city trolley 
system, covering 12 miles. The tax rate, at $19.90 per $1,000 
of assessed valuation, was said to be the lowest in any Michigan 
city. The population was estimated above 42,000. The average 
daily wage for 1912 had been $2.79 one of the highest in 

As 1913 proceeded, there was much discussion of whether 
Mott would run for mayor again. A newspaper reported his 
statement that he would run as an independent and not on any 
partisan ticket, if at all: "There are many things yet unfinished, 
which I would like to follow out to ultimate termination. As 
far as the position of mayor is concerned, I will be only too 
glad when I am freed of the duties of that office. It is not the 
office that I want, but the work than can be accomplished by 
the holder of that office." 

A People's Party was formed a somewhat different group 


from the former Independent Citizens' Party with Mott as 
candidate for mayor. Mott recommended a bond issue involv- 
ing some $300,000 for the needed work on sewers, roads, 
parks, and paving, to be voted on in a special election, March 
20, 1913. Four of the six items were approved by the voters, 
and Flint was in a position to expand its municipal facilities to 
match its tremendous growth of population. 

The first part of 1913 brought an anti-vice crusade, a series 
of prosecutions of coal dealers for short-weight loads, and a 
campaign to establish a YMCA in Flint. The Socialists found 
ways to criticize Mott's "business administration," but the 
campaign had none of the fireworks of 1912. Mott received 
4,290 votes to 2,341 for Menton, again his Socialist opponent. 

Although there were no Socialists among the aldermen 
elected this time, the administration ran into difficulties in 
getting the sewer program accepted when individual assess- 
ments were protested by real estate men. The common council 
yielded to pressure and cut down the proposed sewer construc- 
tion plan only to face other pressure from those who wanted 
the whole program carried out. Mott kept issuing statements 
to the public to clarify the situation, but it seemed impossible 
to secure any meeting ground between the two opposing 
schools of thought. The controversy continued and held up 
other city improvement work also since paving was not to 
be done until after the sewers were in. Objections and injunc- 
tions continued to hamper the planned sewer construction. 

Other matters showed definite progress. The YMCA cam- 
paign was highly successful, and plans were made to construct 
a bunding. A sum of $112,000 had been raised, $12,000 
more than the original goal. The city enacted a pure-food 
ordinance, regulating standards of meat and milk. Action was 
taken, at the instance of the feminine Municipal Housekeeping 
Commission, to abate the smoke nuisance. The council also 
passed a child-welfare ordinance, providing for one or more 
nurses in the city health department to have charge of child 
welfare work in the city. 

Throughout 1913 Flint was surging onward with production 
and employment The number of men in the larger plants in- 
creased from 6,000 in August to 8,000 in October. 

For Mott, it was a year of decision. In 1908, General 
Motors had acquired 49 per cent of the stock of the Weston- 
Mott Company; in 1913, Mott transferred the remaining 51 
per cent to General Motors on a straight exchange-of-stock 
basis. "General Motors didn't have to put up a cent," Mott re- 
calls. "It was paid from cash, property, and stock that the 
Weston-Mott Company owned. The balance was made up in 
General Motors stock so that all that General Motors did 
was to give me stock for the Weston-Mott Company. The 
exchange of stock was on the basis of book value." 

Considering that Weston-Mott sales exceeded $6 million in 
the 1912-1913 fiscal year, the value of the company and the 
consequent stock holdings resulting from selling the remaining 
51 per cent of it explain Mott's basic acquisition of General 
Motors stock. This was to become worth many millions of 
dollars over the years and to make possible the establishment 
and development of the Mott Foundation. 

It was understood that Mott was to remain in charge of the 
Weston-Mott Company. In 1910, when Durant had invited 
Mott to become a director of General Motors, Mott had de- 
clined on the basis that it would prejudice the position of 
Weston-Mott in relation to its non-General Motors customers. 
This factor no longer applied, and in November, 1913, Mott 
was elected a director of General Motors a position he has 
retained continuously ever since, the only 1913 director still 
on the board. 

From 1907, when the Motts moved to Flint, to 1913 when 
Mott disposed of Ms final Weston-Mott holdings to General 
Motors, both Buick and Weston-Mott had grown by leaps and 
bounds. In the course of this tremendous expansion, Weston- 
Mott, like Buick, was hiring and training the perpetually in- 
creasing supply of workers coming to Flint. The wages paid 
were considered excellent for the time, and the surviving 


wagon and carriage companies lost many skilled workmen to 
the automotive plants. 

As for Flint, the quiet "hick-town" the Motts had first 
observed in 1905 was changing rapidly; the old patterns were 
breaking up; the new social order had little homogeneity, be- 
cause the changing population had little in common except 
source of income. The people came in waves and surges, from 
all over Michigan, from the South, from Europe, from almost 
everywhere. They could not be assimilated by Flint's small- 
town social patterns, so Flint simply added masses of people 
who brought with them problems and differences which were 
to result in social chaos for years to come. Drawing in these 
masses of people, in the process of building automobiles, Buick 
and Weston-Mott were unconsciously creating vast human 
problems in the community, problems which were to become 
increasingly apparent, and which were to require and re- 
ceive an answer unique in American civic history. By a kind 
of magnificent justice which seldom strikes so grand a balance, 
Charles Stewart Mott, one of the dominant figures in the indus- 
trial enterprise which brought this multiplied population to 
Flint, was to do more than anyone else to provide that unique 
answer to the problems Flint's heterogeneous population cre- 
ated- through the Mott Foundation. 


In January, 1914, Mott stated that he would be a candidate 
for re-election on "an independent ticket and no other." 
Mott's announcement included the statement "... I believe 
that national politics has no place in municipal govern- 
ment. " Asked to amplify his formal announcement, Mott 

I started in nearly two years ago to give the people of Flint 
what they needed in the way of improvements and what I be- 
lieved and still believe that they want. It has been an almost 
overwhelming task and by no means a pleasant one. If I had 
completed the work that I set out to do I would retire now. 
But I have not completed it. Of course, if the people of Flint 
do not want it finished, well and good. That is for them to say. 
But I will not be the one to back down. I would consider that 
I had neglected a duty to Flint if I retired at this time. 

Nash wrote a letter to the Flint Journal the day after Mott's 
announcement and, with characteristic common sense, pin- 
pointed the problems of the city as providing water supply, 
sidewalks, sanitary sewers, and other facilities for the dwellings 
that had sprung up in outlying districts of Flint to house fac- 
tory workers: 

Now, this work cannot be done without considerable cost 
and the cost raised by taxation. All this work, I am satisfied, 
has been undertaken by Mayor Mott because he wants to see 
our factory people, who are really the people who are keeping 
Flint alive, to have favorable conditions under which to live, 
as other cities have. I have heard it said that Mayor Mott was 
too much interested in the people who work in the north end 
factories. I think this is unfair criticism. Although they may 
live in the outlying districts, I believe the men who work in 


these factories are entitled to the same consideration that is 
accorded the people in the downtown district, who are other- 
wise employed. That Mayor Mott has not completed the work 
he set out to do for the people of Flint is due to an unfortunate 
set of circumstances for which he can be in no way held 
responsible. . . . 

Charges of waste and extravagance were leveled against 
Mott's administration. Mott and his backers publicized actual 
savings achieved by his administration. Mott also recom- 
mended resubmitting the problem of continued storm sewer 
construction to the voters. He stated repeatedly that he did 
not propose to have the city provide services the people did 
not want but that since the city was larger, bills were greater 
for the services people wanted. 

At a Progressive Party meeting, a speaker said of Mott: 
"Mayor Mott is an honest man and a gentleman and he has 
done a lot for the city, but he bores with too big an auger." 
There was also some skepticism about the proposed charter, 
and more than a little discussion of the purchase of voting 
machines which Mott had ordered as an economy measure. At 
a council meeting, Alderman William H. McKeighan presented 
a resolution which would prevent use of the voting machines 
in the coming elections. Mott stated that he had been expecting 
such a gesture but from the Progressive Party, not from a 
member of his own administration. He had prepared a state- 
ment on the speed, efficiency, and economy of the voting 
machines. McKeighan's resolution failed to pass. 

A Mott-for-Mayor Club publicized the accomplishments of 
Mott's administration in public health, increased fire protec- 
tion, lower insurance rates, and in other fields. Eventually there 
were three tickets: Citizens Independent, Progressive, and 
Socialist with Mott, John R. MacDonald, and Menton, nomi- 
nated in the primaries. 

With all Flint's needs for municipal improvements, and the 
projects undertaken in the preceding two years, Mott was still 
able to point to the fact that Flint's tax rate was lower than 

the rates in Bay City, Port Huron, Detroit, Saginaw, and 
Grand Rapids. For 1914, the city's proposed budget was 
$12,975 lower than for the previous year. Mott was also able 
to note substantial balances in the lighting, fibre, police, build- 
ing, salary, street, and bridge funds, totaling $88,900. 

Looking over the Flint political situation with sharp but 
somewhat cynical eyes, a Detroit News correspondent wrote 
that Flint politicians were accounting for Mott's running for 
a third term as mayor on the basis that he wanted to run for 
Congress. The reporter pointed out that the Progressive can- 
didate, MacDonald, was "credited with having a speaking 
acquaintance with as many Flint voters as any man in the 
city, and far more than the usual run of candidates have. Flint 
has been his home for 35 years/' This reporter's analysis of 
public attitudes toward Mott's administration is illuminating: 

Mayor Mott has conducted the mayor's office like he con- 
ducts his factory, which means on strictly business lines. But 
there has been a lot of grumbling, the main cause appearing 
to be that he inaugurated so many public improvements, 
largely in the way of sewer and paving extensions, that dur- 
ing his administration taxes have reached a new high-water 
mark, notably for special assessments. Last summer when 
taxes were payable, there were angry protests at the city hall 
by hundreds of people whose only taxable property are the 
homes where they live. They tell now that being a very rich 
man, Mayor Mott doesn't seem to be able to see the tax situ- 
ation from the angle of the poor man. That is, his political 
opponents say this. 

Mott immediately denied that he was running for re-election 
as mayor as a prelude to a try for Congress in the fall; he stated 
that he would not be a candidate for Congress on any ticket 
if re-elected mayor but that he might consider running for 
Congress if not re-elected mayor. 

Nash, busy as he was as president of General Motors, wrote 
a long and thoughtful letter to the Flint Journal in which he 
said that the factory interests and the interests of the people 


of Flint were identical. He also said good things about Progres- 
sive candidate MacDonald, but devoted strength and persua- 
siveness to reminding people of Mott's accomplishments for 
the city, and the need to continue Mott in office to permit 
him to complete the work he had undertaken for the good of 
the community. Nash evidently could feel that the confusion 
of issues, parties, personalities, rumors, prejudices, and mis- 
taken impressions had reached such a point as to leave the 
election of Mott in doubt. The Flint Journal underscored 
Nash's letter with a strong editorial derived from it, and con- 
tinued to back Mott's candidacy with full force. 

To add to all the cross-currents of confusion, on April 3, 
before the April 6 election, there was some highly mysterious 
activity reported at the Genesee County court house in Flint 
centering in Judge C. H. Wisner's private chamber. The 
judge, the prosecuting attorney, the sheriff, various police 
officers, and a stranger were involved. Mayor Mott was re- 
ported to have entered the circuit judge's room for a few 
minutes. Arrests made public were for violation of the local- 
option law by selling liquor, and it was reported that a corps 
of detectives had been making an investigation for several 
weeks. Two former mayors had been called in for testimony. 
Mayor Mott was reported to have been present throughout the 
proceedings, but would say nothing except, "You will learn 
all this when the election is over." It was surmised that political 
issues were involved, but the judge kept a tight hold on release 
of information. What effect the mysterious activities in the 
court house may have had on the April 6, 1914, election can 
scarcely be determined, since there were already so many 
curious influences and factors at play. 

MacDonald, the Progressive Party candidate, carried 11 of 
the 14 precincts with 3,193 votes to 2,445 for Mott and 
only 492 for Flint's 1911 Socialist mayor, Menton. The new 
charter was defeated but the bonding issue to continue storm- 
sewer construction was carried. The results of the election were 
known a few minutes after the polls closed thanks to the 

voting machines which had been a major point of attack on 
Mott during the campaign. 

As Flint shook itself after the bitter election, Mott issued 
this statement: 

As I am just completing two years* experience on city 
work, I do not feel that I can conscientiously congratulate 
Mr. MacDonald, and he will understand me when he gets 
through. But I do assure him of my continued friendliness and 
best wishes for a successful administration and I stand ready 
to co-operate with him and lend him all assistance possible, 
whenever or if ever he may see fit to call on me. 

I congratulate Flint that Mr. MacDonald has a reputation 
for straightforwardness and independence, and I believe that 
he will do things for Flint's best interests, irrespective of those 
who would have him do otherwise. 

Mayor-elect MacDonald also issued a graceful statement, 
concluding with these words, "Am gratified to feel that at all 
times I will have the benefit of the knowledge and valuable 
experience in city matters of my worthy predecessor, Mayor 
Mott, for whom I have the very highest regard." 

Actually this defeat had been somewhat of a blow, and was 
not without its aftertaste of bitterness. Mott was grateful to 
Flint for the opportunities he had found in the city. He felt that 
he was making a real and effective contribution to his com- 
munity by serving as mayor, spending full time at a job which 
was considered primarily an honorary function. He believed 
in business methods and principles and in getting the greatest 
possible value from every tax dollar spent. He had disciplined 
himself strictly to carry out only and exactly what Flint people 
indicated they wanted the city government to do. He had kept 
an open door to the public had invited everyone to keep 
informed and, in effect, to police all city activities. He had 
been meticulously conscientious about his duties and respon- 
sibilities as mayor. Mott had used all available media of public 
information to keep Flint people aware of city activities and 
plans. He had, indeed, in all matters, acted in what he believed 


to be the best interests of the whole city and all its people 
and he had accomplished an amazing number of improvements. 
And now when he was willing to continue another year to 
complete the program Flint people said they wanted, the 
voters repudiated him. Yet in the same election they approved 
continuation of the storm-sewer construction he had under- 
taken as perhaps the greatest necessity of all for the city. 

Smarting inwardly under the defeat, although bearing it 
outwardly with good grace, Mott felt the need to get away 
from Flint for a time. He and Mrs. Mott set out on a tour of 
Europe. After visiting England and Holland, the Motts were 
joined in Paris by Mr. and Mrs. Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. and by 
Mrs. Mott's parents. Early in July, the Motts returned to Flint. 
Mott's friends, including Flint's most distinguished citizens, 
held a banquet in his honor. W. W. Mountain was toastmaster, 
and he began the tributes to Mott, lauding him for "Better- 
ment of Flint Both from the Civic and Industrial Standpoint." 
W. H. Little talked about "Old Associations," remembering the 
days when Mott had first come to Flint. Little's sense of humor 
was foremost, as always. He described Mott's invention of a 
demountable rim which was very easily removed from the 
rim. In fact, according to Little, the real problem was to keep 
it on the wheel. 

C. W. Nash spoke on "Manufacturing Interests as Related 
to City Government," tracing the growth of Flint's industry 
and consequent growth of the city's civic needs, and pointing 
out that Mott had understood those needs and had done a 
great deal to help meet them. Nash also paid a personal tribute 
to Mott, saying that Mott's advice and counsel had been very 
helpful to him and expressing satisfaction that Mott had been 
made a director of General Motors so that Nash would have 
that advice and counsel available. 

J. D Dort spoke on "The Ideal City," relating how much 
Mott had done in helping Flint toward becoming a finer com- 
munity for all its people. Last, in a generous tribute to Mott, 
Dr. C. B. Burr pointed out that Flint had already benefited 

and would continue to benefit from the constructive ideals 
and thorough performance of Mott. Dr. Burr then made the 
presentation of the evening to Mott a handsome silver loving 
cup inscribed: 

Presented by His Friends and Fellow 
Townsmen to 


Twice elected on a non-partisan ballot 



In grateful recognition of his unselfish 

devotion to the public welfare 

and his insistence upon the 

application of business 

principles in municipal 


The tremendous attendance at the banquet, and the good 
words from leading men in Flint, made Mott feel that Flint 
had not really rejected him after all and that there was 
understanding appreciation of his intentions, efforts, and 
accomplishments among those about whose good opinion he 
cared most. The loving cup, and the ceremonies attending its 
presentation, served to wash away the tinge of bitterness Mott 
had felt on losing the election. 

Michigan's Gov. Woodbridge N. Ferris laid the cornerstone 
of the new YMCA building, and Mott, who had taken a lead- 
ing part in the fund-raising campaign for the building, was 
named chairman of the board of directors. Mott still operated 
the Weston-Mott Company for a General Motors flourishing 
under the direction of Nash. Nash and Mott liked and under- 
stood each other. They were alike in integrity, common sense, 
and the belief in hard work and thoroughness. Each depended 
upon the advice of the other. 



In its New Year's Day editorial, January 1, 1915, the Flint 
Journal noted: "To Flint, the Old Year has brought prosperity 
almost unlimited. It has seen the transition from the country 
village of yore to the modern city practically completed." 
Flint's population had pushed beyond 50,000, and it was no 
longer easy to predict what would happen in the growing com- 
munity. People were boasting that their city was spending 
more than half a million dollars on improvements and, in 
general, was riding the crest of a wave of prosperity. To Flint, 
the war in Europe was exciting but still remote. 

The war was rolling back and forth across Europe; England 
and Germany were both grumbling at the United States. A 
threatening financial crisis in the United States was scarcely 
felt in Flint. America was becoming more and more enthusi- 
astic about automobiles and both Buick and Chevrolet were 
doing well. Flint was still making buggies, too and the Ex- 
ecutive Committee of the Carriage Builders National Associa- 
tion recommended that a standardized buggy be adopted by 
the trade. 

General Motors common stock was quoted at $99. Louis 
Chevrolet was coming out of retirement to resume auto 
racing. An Auto Page became a feature of the Flint Journal 
advertising the Saxon Roadster at $395, the new 1915 
Maxwell at $695, the Chevrolet Baby Grand Touring at $985, 
the Chevrolet Royal Mail Roadster at $860, and Fords at 
$450 up. The Buick plant was called the largest manufacturing 
plant in the world except the Krupp Gun Works and Baldwin 
Locomotive Plant 

Not without misgivings, Mott was persuaded to run for 
mayor again in 1915; he was not enthusiastic about the idea 

but accepted it as a duty. Again he insisted on running on a 
Citizens Independent Party ticket. Alderman John G. Windiate 
and Alderman William H. McKeighan filed petitions for the 
primary on the Republican ticket. 

Statements of the candidates were reasonably typical of 
the men. Windiate said in part: "The main issue in this cam- 
paign is the enforcement of law and order. ... In a general 
way, I stand for a reasonable amount of necessary improve- 
ments but not to such an extent that they will become a burden 
to the small taxpayer." 

His opponent in the Republican primary, McKeighan, said 
only, "Tell them that I will be mayor for all the people." 

Mott said: 

I am not seeking the office of mayor, and had no thought 
or desire to run until the eleventh hour, when I was ap- 
proached by men who thi'nV that city affairs should be taken 
out of national party politics, and who desire that the business 
of the city should be conducted on business principles and 
I consented to the use of my name. Acceptance of office 
would mean much personal sacrifice for me, but if elected I 
should devote most of my time to the upbuilding of the city, 
as I have done in the past 

In the Republican primary, Windiate represented the con- 
servative "old Flint" part of the population, which was being 
inundated by the waves of "new people" from everywhere, who 
were still coming to Flint in vast numbers for jobs. McKeighan 
was the young, handsome hero of the "North-end new people" 
a political charmer with a sound feeling for political expedi- 
ency and the kind of oratory which fills the ears and churns 
the emotions without involving the intelligence. 

On March 3, the largest vote in Flint's primary history was 
cast and McKeighan beat out Windiate for the Republican 
nomination by some 250 votes. Mott, unopposed for the Citi- 
zens Independent ticket nomination, received an unimpres- 
sive token vote. In editorial comment, the Flint Journal medi- 
tated gloomily, "There is a question, and it is a very serious 


one, whether there can be such a thing as a representative vote 
in Hint/' This question was raised by the fact that some 2,000 
had voted for the first time in the primary and, while they 
had been in Flint long enough to satisfy legal voting require- 
ments, they were in large part "transients" in a real sense. No- 
body could predict what Flint voters would decide about any- 

The really exciting issue of the coming election was not 
electing a mayor, but deciding the "wet or dry" issue. Flint's 
local-option laws were not highly respected by much of the 
population, and the "wets" organized as the "Genesee County 
Liberal Association," worked aggressively to restore the free 
flow of liquor. 

McKeighan was elected with almost 1,200 more votes than 
Mott, and Genesee County remained "dry" by a majority of 
612 votes. In a somewhat shoulder-shrugging editorial, the 
Flint Journal pointed out that surprise and disappointment at 
the results of the election would have been on one side, if not 
on the other and that what was in the best interests of the 
people was the only important thing. Clearly, Flint was chang- 
ing so rapidly that a "realistic" policy on the part of the news- 
paper required consideration of a completely new set of values. 

Mott issued a characteristic statement: 

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the many 
friends who sought so diligently to bring about my election. 
It is a satisfaction, indeed, to know that so many of them 
demonstrated their desire to see me elected, entering into a 
campaign with an enthusiasm unbounded and carrying on the 
work with a spirit of personal interest that one neither asks 
nor expects from even a friend. What regrets I may have are 
in their disappointment rather than my own, for it was my 
own desire merely to be of service to Flint if the people of 
Flint desired my services. 

In view of the odds with which we had to contend I feel 
that I have reason to be extremely gratified over the showing, 
not that I personally but that my friends have made for me. 

We were all working against overwhelming odds, a fact that is 
apparent on the face of the returns which show a Republican 
majority in the city of better than 5,500. When one stops to 
think that practically every vote cast for me was a split vote, 
by men who sought to give preference to me over the candi- 
date on their own ticket, and sought out my name from its 
obscure place on the ballot, there is, in my opinion, every 
reason to be gratified. 

As in 1914, many factors combined to defeat Mott in 1915, 
but this time the loss was rather a relief than a source of bitter- 
ness. Mott had been willing to serve out of a sense of civic 
duty; his defeat relieved him of that particular obligation. 

Flint kept on growing, and again the need of additional 
housing became acute. A company to promote the building of 
houses in Flint was formed, with Mott and Dort each sub- 
scribing $10,000 toward setting up a $250,000 fund; Mott 
was made head of this company. Pledges to construct 280 
houses were made at the first meeting of the group. 

September, 1915, brought news that Chevrolet Motor Com- 
pany of Delaware had been incorporated by W. C. Durant with 
$20 million capital. Although there were plants in various 
parts of the country, the main manufacturing units were to be 
in Flint. Chevrolet stock had reached $250 a share. 

Thus Mott's willingness back in 1912 to accept stock instead 
of the cash he could have demanded from the Little Motor Car 
Company one of the basic companies combined into Chev- 
rolet began to appear as a sound investment instead of merely 
a helpful gesture. 

Through Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware, Durant 
by trading Chevrolet stock for General Motors stock 
was able to regain control of General Motors on September 
16, 1915 exactly seven years after he had organized it. A 
dividend of $50 a share on General Motors common stock was 
declared, a fact which is the more impressive when it is re- 
membered that at one point in 1913 the stock had sold for as 
little as $25 a share. Under the Nash management, and with 


the added impetus of the "munitions boom" through these 
years, General Motors had prospered remarkably. Weston- 
Mott, as a unit of General Motors, had shared this vigorous 
growth and Mott, as a General Motors stockholder and 
director, grew both in fortune and in prestige. He maintained 
the most friendly of relations with all the major figures in 
General Motors, from Pierre S. du Pont, the new chairman of 
the board of directors, to Durant, Nash, Chrysler, and the rest 
Never carried into extreme or emotional partisanship in the 
areas of conflict which arose within the organization, he was 
trusted by alL He took strong positions on issues of policy, 
but only on the basis of what he considered best for the com- 
pany as a whole without regard for the special interests of 
individuals. Mott's impartiality, clear vision, wide experience, 
and common sense have always been a stabilizing factor in the 
direction of General Motors. 

Flint's automotive and subsidiary plants were kept busy 
through 1915 with Buick, Chevrolet, Paterson, Dort, and 
Monroe cars in production. There were four Flint men on the 
General Motors board of directors: Mott, Nash, Durant, and 
A. G. Bishop, of Genesee County Savings Bank. Nash an- 
nounced in November that, after distribution of the $50 divi- 
dend on each share of common stock some $11 million 
General Motors was still in an excellent cash position, and that 
all subsidiaries were operating on a paying basis. Nash also 
announced that Buick expected to double its output in the 
following eight months and would add employees in Flint 
accordingly. He expected that 3,000 more houses would have 
to be built in Flint for additional employees. 

Surging production and employment went on into 1916, 
with 15,000 men working in Flint plants at the start of the 
year as compared with 8,000 at the beginning of 1915. Flint 
banks boasted over $9 million in savings deposits, and 1,400 
new construction building permits had been issued in 1915. 
The new Flint YMCA had a thousand members. 

Early in January, it was announced that General Motors 

common stock had been put on a permanent dividend basis 
of 5 per cent quarterly with the first 10 per cent payment, 
representing the past and current quarter, payable February 
15. It was feared that this low rate of return a mere 20 per 
cent per year would be disappointing and discouraging to 
investors, and would cause a drop in the price of the stock. It 
was explained that higher dividends could be paid since the 
net earnings of the company in the six months ending February 
first were estimated at $12 million but the directors preferred 
to be conservative, with the expectation of declaring an extra 
dividend over and above the 20 per cent at the end of the year. 

On June 1, 1916, Nash resigned from General Motors, and 
Durant assumed the presidency. Nash must have been deeply 
conscious of the debt he owed to Durant for the two great 
opportunities of his life: his first job with Durant-Dort Car- 
riage Company, and his first job with General Motors. Yet so 
greatly had Nash grown with the stature of his accomplish- 
ments that he felt he must resign from General Motors when 
Durant regained control, although apparently Durant wanted 
Nash to stay. Durant's confidence in Nash's extraordinary 
abilities had been more than justified, since Nash had, in the 
years between 1910 and 1916, brought General Motors into 
a position of triumphant security, solvency, and competitive 
strength. Nash went on to develop his own company with con- 
tinuing success. 

Later in 1916, Harry H. Bassett, general manager of Wes- 
ton-Mott, became assistant general manager of Buick under 
Walter P. Chrysler, president and general manager. Chrysler 
had been brought to Buick by Nash in 1912, and had proved 
a remarkably effective works manager. Both of these men were 
close to Mott. Bassett was the young man Mott had hired from 
the Remington Arms Company back in 1905; Chrysler was 
one of Motfs closest friends. With that insight into character 
which has served him so well over the years, Mott had recog- 
nized the capacities of both men. It was in 1916 that Mott 
became a vice-president of General Motors. 


With the entry of the United States into World War I in 
April, 1917, all General Motors plants were put at the disposal 
of the Government, and there were many changes. Also in 
1917, the separate companies held by General Motors were 
absorbed as divisions. General Motors had become an operat- 
ing company rather than a holding company with the change 
in organization, although the divisions retained a degree of 

In February, 1918, it was announced that Chevrolet would 
at last become part of General Motors. Capitalization of Gen- 
eral Motors was increased to $200 million. Although there was 
some disruption of production in the transition to war work 
in the plants, most General Motors units were rapidly utilized 
for war production. 

Because of the complexity of new problems brought to city 
administration by the war situation, Mott was persuaded to 
become a candidate for mayor of Flint again in 1918. Flint's 
1917 mayor, George C. Kellar, stated, "... I can best serve 
this community by withdrawing in favor of Mr. Mott. The 
emergency demands the ability and courage of a citizen such 
as Mr. Mott has always shown himself to be." Kellar, a good 
friend, had urged Mott to enter the campaign. This time, Mott 
ran on the Republican ticket and was opposed in the primary 
by George H. Gordon. The only other candidate was John S. 
Tennant, running on an Independent ticket, so it was generally 
assumed that nomination would be tantamount to election. 

Five days before the March 6 primaries, the Flint Labor 
News devoted its full front page to support of Mott's can- 
didacy. The headline was: "WHY MOTT FOR MAYOR?" The sub- 
head continued " Mott for Mayor' Should Be the Slogan of 
Every Citizen Voter Who Desires a Just and Efficient Admin- 
istration of Local Government for Progressive Flint." There 
followed a solid page of editorial comment noting Mott's many 
services and contributions to the community, praising his char- 
acter, and recommending his election in the strongest possible 


On March 6, 1918, Mott was nominated for mayor with 
a majority of 1,577 over his opponent. 

On the day after the primaries, the Flint Journal reprinted 
part of an editorial it had presented after Mott's defeat by 
MacDonald in 1914, noting that the future would rightly 
place the credit Mott's constructive services as mayor had 

Mott's after-nomination statement was: "I wish to thank 
sincerely all of the men who have by their efforts and votes 
made yesterday's results possible, to affirm again my belief in 
and friendship for the people of Flint, and to state that if 
elected it will be a pleasure to me to serve this city to the best 
of my ability." His final election was almost a taken-f or-granted 
formality. Among his first problems as mayor was urging 
people to buy the kinds of coal then available in anticipation 
of the next winter's needs. Soft coal was on hand but hard 
coal was scarce. 



An atmosphere of excitement prevailed throughout Flint 
with Liberty Loans, Red Cross, and the war news. In May, 
Mayor Mott found it necessary to issue the following statement 
for publication: 

To whom it may concern: 

Flint has always had a reputation of being a law-abiding, 
as well as one of the most patriotic places in the United States, 
and I feel sure that you wish your reputation sustained. 

Unpatriotic citizens and pro-Germans deserve more severe 
punishment than they can possibly get, but the officials of this 
city and county cannot take that as an excuse for mob-rule 
and law breaking. 

Take notice that the police department has been instructed 

Flint's first full-time health officer, Dr. William DeKleine, 
found real backing for his various health programs with Mott 
as mayor. By this time, the salary of the mayor of Flint was 
$2,500 a year, and Mott asked DeKleine what the doctor 
could do with a gift of the mayor's salary to the health depart- 
ment. DeKleine answered that he wouldn't know what to do 
with $2,500, but would know what to do with $5,000. He 
wanted to employ a dentist and organize a dental department 
to go into the schools to correct the dental defects of children. 
Mott took the suggestion to the school board, and the board 
matched his $2,500 with an appropriation of the same amount, 
and Dr. DeKleine put his school dental department into opera- 

The year 1918 brought into General Motors one of Mott's 
old and close friends, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Sloan was president 
of the group of parts manufacturers Durant had originally 

organized as United Motors. When the group was acquired by 
General Motors, Sloan also moved to the corporation he was 
later to head. Thus an association between Mott and Sloan, 
going back many years, continued even more actively in the 
years to follow. 

Another long-time friend of Mott was highly active in Flint 
city affairs in 1918 Roy Brownell, then Flint's prosecuting 
attorney, later to be associated closely with Mott over many 

In July, 1918, Maj. George D. Wilcox, Detroit District 
Manager of the Motors Branch of the U.S. Army Quarter- 
master Corps, urged Mott to take charge of production for 
Michigan and Indiana. Mott went to work the next day, and 
was told to pick his own men. He chose men from the auto- 
mobile industry to carry out the work in production of vehicles 
for the army; these included a number of Flint men. Many 
years afterwards, Mott noted: "We had first-class men in my 
outfit I picked the kind of men who had been doing the same 
type of work they would be needed for. And they were the 
men who did the work while I was thrashing the thing out 
with Washington. We were stock-chasers. That was my job: 
Top stock-chaser." 

Mott worked both as Flint's mayor and as Chief of Produc- 
tion of the Motors Branch of the Army Quartermaster Corps. 
In November, his commission as major was formally issued, 
which required him to resign as mayor of Flint His resigna- 
tion was announced November 8, 1918 the same day that 
newspaper headlines were black with the fact that the previous 
day's "armistice report" had been false. In his letter of resigna- 
tion to the Flint Common Council, Mott expressed regret in 
resigning, but stated that he felt the War Department had first 
call on his time. 

In acknowledging Mott's letter of resignation, Flint's alder- 
men congratulated him upon his appointment, expressed ap- 
preciation of his financial assistance for health services, and 
noted: "This council desires to express its own sentiment and 


that of the people of this city upon your resignation from the 
office of mayor. We feel that the services you have rendered 
to our city were greatly in excess of mere duty, were in fact 
the product of devotion to the highest ideals of public service." 
On the day Mott was honorably discharged from his job 
in Detroit by the War Department, January 31, 1919, the 
Flint Board of Commerce held a banquet honoring W. C. Du- 
rant. In the course of his talk that evening, Durant spoke with 
warm affection of Flint, and the men who had worked with 
him in the development of General Motors. He paid special 
tributes to Walter P. Chrysler and to Pierre du Pont. Durant 
also read to the 550 men present at the banquet a letter he had 
received from Winston Churchill, then minister of munitions 
for Great Britain. The letter, addressed to Durant as president 
of General Motors, stated: 

My Dear Sir, 

Sir Percival Perry has reported to me concerning his recent 
mission in the United States of America, and I am advised of 
the valuable and enthusiastic assistance rendered by your ex- 
ecutive officers and organizations. 

I desire personally to thank you and your staff for the help 
which you rendered, and to express my appreciation of the 
fact that the enthusiasm and interest which was exercised 
was something more than ordinary commercial considerations 
would demand. 

A cessation of hostilities has been secured without appli- 
cation of the special means which you so wholeheartedly un- 
dertook to contribute; yet I am sure you will agree with me 
that the advent of peace is a reward sufficient to compensate 
for all endeavour. 

Believe me 
Yours sincerely, 
Winston S. Churchill 

With the permission of the group assembled, Durant cabled 
the following reply to Churchill: 

Hon. Winston S. Churchill, 
Minister of Munitions, 
White Hall, London, England. 

At the third annual meeting of the Board of Commerce of 
Flint, Michigan, held last evening, attended by 550 members, 
at which I was the honored guest, I took the liberty of read- 
ing your personal letter of December 3 appropriate to the oc- 
casion in the review of recent events and because Flint, Michi- 
gan, is the birth-place of the General Motors Corporation, 
the pride of every Flint citizen, everyone without exception 
interested in the development, progress, ideals, and standards 
of that organization. 

I join with the members of the Board of Commerce in 
hearty greetings of good will and sincere thanks for your 
courtesies and much appreciated compliment. 

W. C. Durant 

At the banquet, Durant spoke in glowing terms of the future 
growth of both Flint and General Motors. He also spoke of the 
responsibility the company felt in providing housing for its 
employees which resulted in the Modern Housing Corpora- 
tion development by which many homes were built in Flint 
General Motors had expanded tremendously in 1919, buying 
a number of companies, and constructing the $20-million 
General Motors Building in Detroit, as well as purchasing a 
controlling interest in Fisher Body Corporation. 

In the fall of 1919, Mr. and Mrs. Mott, with a group of 
other General Motors executives and their wives, visited and 
inspected industrial establishments in France, Italy, and Eng- 
land. The group included: Mr. and Mrs. Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., 
Mr. and Mrs. Walter P. Chrysler, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Cham- 
pion, and Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Kettering. 

On November 1, 1919, Walter P. Chrysler resigned as 
president and general manager of Buick and first vice-president 
in charge of operations for General Motors. A few months 
later, he joined the Willys organization. Mott remembers that 
Chrysler was often frustrated by Durant's casual way of over- 


riding plans others had made. Although Chrysler had been 
made executive vice-president, he could never know when 
Durant would change policies. Mott recalls a particular in- 
stance in which he and Chrysler had left Flint at six in the 
morning for a meeting in Detroit with Durant. The meeting 
went on and on without even a break for lunch. Chrysler's 
temper mounted with his hunger, and the discussion degen- 
erated into quarreling. Later, Mott mentioned to Durant that 
it might have been helpful to send out for sandwiches and 
coffee. Mott regretted seeing Chrysler leave General Motors, 
but he knew that Chrysler could no longer tolerate the situa- 
tion under which he was working. 

1920 opened with every expectation of another big year for 
Flint, with 29,000 men working in Flint factories, and plans 
for further industrial expansion. Mott once more entered 
politics at the strong urging of his friends Charles Greenway, 
Leonard Freeman, and others as candidate for the Repub- 
lican nomination for governor of Michigan, issuing the follow- 
ing statement: 

If nominated and elected, I promise the state will be hon- 
estly and effectively administered. I am an engineer by edu- 
cation, an executive by training, and three terms as mayor of 
Flint have given me an insight into what ails government and 
what may reasonably be done to improve government through 
careful planning and prompt execution. It is not for me to say 
what my chances are; but if the people of Michigan want me 
as badly as my friends say they do, I am their man from now 
on. Needless to say, the letter and spirit of the corrupt prac- 
tices act will be scrupulously observed during my campaign. 
I would count it an honor to have my name appear on the 
same ballot with electors pledged to the Republican ticket* 
Harding and Coolidge. 

Mott's close friend, John J. Carton, campaigned vigorously, 
and Flint organized effectively to back Motf s candidacy, but 
Mott was not well enough known in the rest of the state. There 
were, of course, attacks based on the idea that General Motors 
was seeking control of state affairs; Mott's headquarters 

countered the accusation strongly, pointing out that the same 
claim had proved to be unfounded during Motfs terms as 
mayor of Flint. Mott's showing third in a field of nine candi- 
dates was considered to be very good considering that he 
was neither a politician nor an orator. He received an over- 
whelming vote in Genesee County. 

In mid-1920, the postwar depression began to affect Gen- 
eral Motors then in the midst of expansion in many direc- 
tions. Inventories piled up falling grain and livestock prices 
hurt automobile sales and proved disastrous to the tractor sub- 
sidiaries. A falling stock market drove General Motors stock 
down, and Durant bought enormously in an attempt to keep 
the stock above $20 a share. Eventually, his commitments 
went millions of dollars beyond his personal resources and 
it was necessary that someone with considerable financial 
capacity take over those stocks to prevent their being unloaded 
on an already depressed market. The du Fonts, with the help 
of J. P. Morgan & Company, took over the stocks averting 
their complete loss by Durant, and preserving the credit and 
standing of the company. 

For the second time, Durant left General Motors on No- 
vember 30, 1920. 

In the changes affecting General Motors in 1920 and 1921, 
Mott, as always, was a stabilizing influence. Neither a "Du- 
rant man," nor an "anti-Durant man," he was, in his own phrase> 
"in the good graces of the whole outfit.** Years later, Pierre du 
Pont referred to Mott as having been "a tower of strength dur- 
ing the Durant debacle.*' The reorganization of General Motors 
in 1921 brought Mott into his most active and effective service 
to the corporation through a new job. The following announce- 
ment from the Flint Journal of April 11, 1921, appears to have 
been devised carefully for its effect on the strong-division or 
strong-central-office schools of thought. 


C. S. Mott, who has been a vice-president and director of 
General Motors Corporation for more than six years has 


been made chief of the advisory staff of the corporation with 
headquarters in Detroit. Mr. Mott succeeds Alfred P. Sloan, 
Jr., in this capacity following a decision to place an officer in 
the Detroit offices while Mr. Sloan is needed in the produc- 
tion branch which is operating from New York. 

Mr. Mott, who returned Saturday from New York, said he 
was assuming the new responsibility at a cost of considerable 
personal inconvenience to himself and his family, since it will 
require that he spend a large part of his time in Detroit and 
he has neither the desire nor the intention to give up Flint as 
his residence, but as it seemed advisable to take care of the 
condition at this time he decided to take up the work. 

Mr. Mott will represent the corporation in its Detroit office 
and will head the advisory staff which consists of such men as 
A. B. C. Hardy, director of advisory purchase section; C. F. 
Kettering, director of advisory engineering section; Norval A. 
Hawkins, director of advisory sales section; Henry L. Barton, 
and a number of others. Mr. Mott is well-known and well- 
liked by the members of the organization with whom he will 
come in contact and his appointment will do much to set at 
rest the minds of those who may have thought the corporation 
was working towards centralized operation; Mr. Mott's ideas 
as to maintaining the integrity of divisions and their oper- 
ation are well-known to his associates. 

In spite of the inconvenience of being away from his home 
in Flint so much of each week, Mott enjoyed the activities of 
his Detroit job. There was concentration on improving the 
quality of Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and Oakland. Mott was 
working with the people he knew, on exactly the kinds of prob- 
lems to which his engineering background, wide production 
experience, and notable common sense could contribute most. 
Where others became emotionally involved with one group or 
cause, he remained calm, concentrating on the end products. 

Flint, sharing the uncertainties of 1921, suffered unemploy- 
ment, but by the end of the year production was going up again 
in the factories. One of Flint's earliest giants of the vehicle 
and automotive industry died in 1921: W. A. Paterson, who 
had opened a carriage shop in Flint in 1869. Later, he had 

manufactured carriages, and road carts made for Durant and 
Dort, and, still later, Paterson automobiles. He had also been 
one of the original stockholders and directors of the Buick 
Motor Company. He, like Mott, had served as mayor of Flint. 

Harry H. Bassett, who had replaced Chrysler as general 
manager and president of Buick, was succeeding brilliantly 
with the original keystone of General Motors; the abilities 
Mott had recognized in him so many years before now found 
full scope. Albert Champion, one of Mott's favorite people, 
after a notable record in spark-plug production during the war, 
was developing the AC Spark Plug Division into the largest 
business of its kind in the world. 

Mott has many pleasant memories of the colorful Cham- 
pion, including the time that Champion came to Mott's office 
in Detroit with the request for an appropriation to buy a small 
piece of land on Dort Highway part of the Dort property. 
Mott asked if Champion wouldn't soon need the old Dort 
building and the large section of land that went with it. Cham- 
pion said that he would need it, but doubted that he could 
get it. Mott said, "You couldn't unless you asked for it." Cham- 
pion revised his request, and Mott secured approval from 
Sloan on the whole purchase the land where the enormous 
AC plant now lies along Dort Highway on the east side of 

Mott has many interesting memories of the years in Detroit, 
and a number of accomplishments to his credit. He is most 
proud of having hired William S. Knudsen. Mott says, "In 
some book it said that Knudsen went to Sloan and Sloan hired 
him; well, that is not true. I take the credit for hiring Knudsen. 
I had him about a month and then there was a break-up in the 
Chevrolet organization and we needed a man to take care of 
things so we put Knudsen in charge of that because he was 
able " 

Knudsen's effectiveness with Chevrolet, from March, 1922, 
until he moved up to become executive vice-president of Gen- 
eral Motors in 1933, made automotive history. Mott preserves 
with pride a 1932 telegram from Knudsen on the tenth anni- 


versary of the day on which Mott had hired him, February 
23, 1922. 

Among Mott's other accomplishments as chief of staff for 
General Motors in Detroit were promotion of the use of ethyl 
gasoline by General Motors men and the use of Duco as 
finish for General Motors cars. There was hesitation on the 
part of General Motors men to use ethyl gasoline, although 
it had been developed by General Motors research under the 
direction of C F. Kettering. This reluctance was based on a 
theory that ethyl gasoline burned up the valves of cars. There 
was a garage for the use of General Motors executives in 
Detroit, and Mott had all other motor fuels taken out except 
ethyl gasoline so the General Motors men used ethyl gasoline 
and found that the rumor about its burning up valves was un- 

Mott also remembers a number of instances when he did 
not get his ideas accepted: 

I wanted to use common bodies, but I couldn't get that 
across also to use common doors. I promoted that and 
failed but somebody else got it across later. I was responsible 
for the Pontiac car. I said, "Here is a Chevrolet 4-cylinder. 
Why can't we build a 6-cylinder at Pontiac, using the Chev- 
rolet body, axles, and everything else, and have another out- 
fit make it at a higher price?" Fisher Body was making the 
bodies, so Red Fisher said, "Well, if you are going to get 
more money for it, then it should have a bigger body." That 
was against what I wanted to do. They built it and made all 
special tools, since they didn't want the car to look like a 
Chevrolet. Well, when at last they built the car, which I 
named, and had it at the show in Lexington Avenue on one 
side was the Chevrolet, and on the other was the Pontiac, but 
they had painted the two cars exactly the same and you would 
have sworn it was the same body. I would have used the same 
body, but painted the cars a different color. 

Flint kept on growing through the twenties. Durant brought 
his new company, Durant Motors, to Flint and manufactured 
Flint and Star automobiles in the big plant he built in the south 

end of the city. He also made a number of other cars but none 
was able to hold a dominant position in public confidence. 

At Buick, Bassett was highly successful, reaching produc- 
tion above 200,000 cars in 1923. Bassett was also successful 
in another way in his dealings with the people who worked 
for him at every level. His genuine concern for all employees 
was not an expedient affectation, but a real and personal facet 
of his nature and the employees knew it. 

Other General Motors developments of the period included 
absorption of the Brown-Lipe-Chapin Company, of Syracuse, 
N.Y. and of Flint's Armstrong Spring Company. General 
Motors also purchased and established the famous proving 
ground near Milf ord with a wide choice of terrain ideal for 
giving cars grueling tests. There are two small lakes on the 
proving ground, a nice one, named for Sloan, and a small, 
muddy one named for Mott the latter being chiefly inhabited 
by turtles. Flint's population kept on increasing, and the social 
chaos increased proportionately but few thought much about 
it with the prosperity of the times. 

The Secretary of War, John W. Weeks, appointed Mott as 
civilian aide for Michigan; the special responsibilities of this 
job included promotion of recruiting for the Citizens Military 
Training Camp at Camp Custer. Mott was continued in this 
appointment as civilian aide for Michigan to the Secretary of 
War from 1924 until 1934. 

It was rumored in 1924 that Mott was a candidate for the 
Republican nomination for Governor of Michigan. This, Mott 
denied flatly, stating, "I am neither a candidate nor have I 
any intention of becoming a candidate this year.' 9 

The Motts had many good friends and a highly active social 
life. Walter P. Chrysler was an especially close friend; Mott 
was godfather to the four Chrysler children. He also kept up 
his contacts with his Weston-Mott men and maintained a wide 
circle of friendships. 

The Mott children had enjoyed it when their father was 
mayor because he brought home free passes to the movies for 


them, which supplemented the strict allowance established to 
teach them the value of money. Always very much aware of 
the fact that a bit of success or prosperity, however achieved, 
does not lift the possessor out of the human race, Mott took 
all possible care to preserve his children from the infections 
of snobbery as they grew up. He has always regarded himself 
as just an "ordinary guy" who might be operating a New York 
State farm except for the fact that his father moved to New 
York City to sell the family farm products, and later invested 
in the Weston-Mott Company. Mott's friendships include 
people of every background. He has resisted by all means the 
tendency of money to set a wall between himself and others. 
His evaluation of people has been on the basis of personal 
qualities rather than bank balances, and he has always wished 
to be similarly considered by others. This concept a funda- 
mental belief in and practice of democracy in its most real 
sense he has consistently attempted to inculcate in his chil- 
dren. In simplest terms, he has taught them that the fact they 
happen to have more money than most people does not make 
them better or different from anyone else; on the contrary, it 
imposes special obligations. 

Harding Mott has many vivid memories of his childhood: 
his father's reading Kipling's Captains Courageous and other 
stories aloud to the children frequent horseback rides out 
in the country with his father . . . many family trips including 
visits to the Hardings and Mother Mott at Christmas and 
summer visits at Seabright, New Jersey ... a family visit to 
California in 1917 when both Aimee and Harding contracted 
typhoid fever and had to stay for weeks in the Good Samaritan 

Hospital in Los Angeles ... a family trip to Europe The 

rewarding tradition of the close-knit family which Mott had 
known as a boy carried over to his own family, and they did 
things together as far as possible. In the summer, the children 
usually went to some camp; Harding attended Boy Scout camp 
and the state YMCA camp. Aimee and Elsa went to Camp 
Aloha, Fairlee, Vermont. 

After grade school, the girls attended the Emma Willard 

School at Troy, New York, for four years; Aimee went on to 
Vassar, Elsa to Smith. Harding went to Hotchkiss, then to 
Antioch College (in which C. F. Kettering, Mott's close friend, 
was deeply interested), then to Yale, where he majored in 
industrial engineering at Sheffield Scientific School. Harding 
also attended Citizens Military Training Camp at Camp Custer 
at the age of seventeen. Harding Mott remembers that when 
he was fourteen Kettering whom his father always liked and 
admired greatly gave him his first airplane ride ... in a 
biplane with an air-cooled motor, using ethyl gasoline. 

One year, Mott rented a houseboat on the west coast of 
Florida, and he and Mrs. Mott voyaged in the Ten Thousand 
Islands area. 

Mott liked hunting and fishing, and grew to enjoy golf and 
tennis. He has always had a particular fondness for the West 
with Arizona as his favorite State. For years, he managed a 
few weeks each winter at Jack Van Ryder's, at Camp Verde, 
Arizona. Rough-country hunting and camping trips get away 
from artificial standards rapidly and back to the realities 
of individual character, which is something Mott has always 
cherished. Also, rugged cowboy life contributes greatly to 
that physical fitness which Mott has always regarded as one 
of the primary obligations of an intelligent and self-respecting 
man. He has set his children an example in this regard with 
horseback riding, hunting, fishing, sailing, and other strenuous 
activities. Mott set examples, too, on the cultural side with 
a deep and intelligent interest in music, art, and literature. His 
special affection for the West is reflected in his Frederic Rem- 
ington paintings and sculpture, and his impressive art collec- 
tion also includes a wide range of excellent pictures. 

In 1918, Mott secured two adjoining pieces of land between 
Kearsley and Court Streets, and there established an estate 
called Applewood, which has embodied and expressed many 
of his interests and ideas. Buying 26 acres from Dort and 38 
acres from Nash, Mott was able to create a somewhat remark- 
able farm in the middle of Flint. His brother-in-law, Herbert 
E. Davis, designed a splendid Tudor mansion, which was built 


in 1918. A big barn was also built, and an impressive chicken 
house and for twenty-five years, Mott raised livestock as 
well as maintaining large vegetable and flower gardens. The 
family moved into this big new home in 1919. Mott had a 
pipe organ built into the great living room, and many of the 
fine paintings of his collection are also displayed there. Trees, 
shrubs, and flowers have always been among Mott's interests, 
as Applewood demonstrates. Growing up in New York City, 
he had always yearned for the farm life his father had left 
and he attained his own version of it in Flint. 

In June, 1924, the happy life of the Motts was broken by 
tragedy. Mrs. Ethel Harding Mott, who had been in poor health 
for some time, suffered a fatal accident. While the rest of the 
family was at breakfast, Mrs. Mott fell from the window of her 
bedroom in the second story of their home, sustaining injuries 
from which she died a short time later. There are probably 
few to whom family and home have meant quite so much as to 
the Motts and Mrs. Mott had been the central and presiding 
grace of the lives of her husband and children. She was known 
to her Flint friends for her gentleness, goodness, affection for 
her family, and activities in many charitable organizations. 

The unexpected and untimely death of his wife broke the 
patterns of living Mott had worked for. He maintained Apple- 
wood and continued to work in Detroit from Monday morn- 
ings until Friday afternoons but nothing was quite the same 
for this man whose life was centered in his home. In 1925,. 
Mott took his three children, accompanied by their aunt> 
Mrs. E. A. Tauchert, and her son, on a European tour. After 
that, the children were in college. For Mott, there was work, 
plus hunting, fishing, and sailing trips. Within the next six 
years, he made two attempts to re-establish the kind of home- 
centered life which meant so much to him the first being 
ended by another untimely death, the second by divorce. 
Not until 1934 was he to find the person with whom he was 
once more able to develop the splendid family life which has 
always been among his ideals. 


After May 10, 1923 the date Sloan became president of 
General Motors Mott and Sloan worked together more 
closely than ever before. Sloan in New York and Mott in 
Detroit made their special contributions to General Motors 
through a period of solid development in which the trend of 
the buying public demonstrated increasing confidence in Gen- 
eral Motors products. Sloan and Mott lied and understood 
one another; each was an engineer, with the habitual need to 
get down to the facts of any situation; each had a very real 
social conscience, too a sense of clear-cut obligation to his 
fellow men; each was capable of large vision, while not losing 
sight of the very down-to-earth practical detail work necessary 
to hammer vision into reality. They were explorers rather than 
adventurers, working by carefully devised plans rather than 
by inspiration. 

In Adventures of a White Cottar Man, Sloan expressed the 
satisfaction of this relationship: "I liked to work with Mott 
His training had made him methodical. When he was con- 
fronted with a problem, he tackled it as I did my own, with 
engineering care to get the facts. Neither of us ever took any 
pride in hunches. We left all the glory of that kind of thinking 
to such men as like to be labeled 'genius/ We much preferred 
the slow process of getting all the available facts, analyzing 
them as completely as our experience and ability made pos- 
sible, and then deciding our course.** 

In Flint, employment dipped in 1920, with the postwar 
depression, but came back by 1923 the year Flint's popula- 
tion hit 135,000. There was another drop in employment from 
March to November, 1924 but after that, rising employment 
prevailed. At times the need for employees was so great that 


advertising and recruiting programs were used to bring more 
and more workers to Flint Highly skilled men were sometimes 
difficult to find and at one period there was an influx of ex- 
cellent mechanics from the New England States, many of them 
accustomed to small dies utilized in making watches and 
similar small items, to whom the gigantic dies of the auto- 
mobile industry were somewhat amazing. 

A School of Trades had been started at the Flint YMCA in 
1918 sponsored by the Industrial Fellowship League and the 
Flint Vehicle Workers Mutual Benefit Association. Under the 
guidance of Albert Sobey, this school became the Flint Institute 
of Technology in 1919, and ultimately developed into General 
Motors Institute. Harry Bassett is credited with having inter- 
ested General Motors in backing the school. The Flint Vehicle 
Workers Mutual Benefit Association and the Industrial Fellow- 
ship League evolved into the Industrial Mutual Association 
(IMA), which developed both indoor and outdoor recrea- 
tional programs for shop workers and their families. 

At the time Sloan became president of General Motors, 
B. C. Forbes had wanted more information about him, and 
had turned to Mott as the logical source. In Automotive 
Giants of America, which Forbes co-authored with O. D. 
Foster, the sketch of Sloan includes these paragraphs: 

When I wired one of Mr. Sloan's oldest and closest friends 
and associates, C. S. Mott of Flint and Detroit, to specify some 
of the qualities which had won Mr. Sloan such signal promo- 
tion, he immediately telegraphed this illuniinating reply: 

"Alfred Sloan is an indomitable worker; a systematic and 
persistent organizer; a stickler for procedure; a crystallizer of 
corporation policies for the benefit and protection of the cus- 
tomer, the stockholder, and the members of the General 
Motors organization. His many years of training and experi- 
ence in shop work, followed by taking over sales and execu- 
tive duties, combined with natural ability and an open mind, 
make him an ideal man to direct the affairs of General Motors 
Corporation. Sloan and I have been warm personal friends 

ever since we started doing business together over twenty 
years ago. The satisfaction derived from my personal relations 
with him could not have been greater if he had been my own 
brother. I think he inspires the same confidence in all with 
whom he comes in close contact." 

Mott's is one of the twenty pen portraits included in Auto- 
motive Giants of America. The 18-page sketch of Mott is 
highly perceptive. It begins: 

Charles Stewart Mott is an example of a new type of citizen 
America is producing. This new type is the brainy, busy, suc- 
cessful businessman, willing, while still in the very prime of 
life, to enter the stormy political arena and fill public office, 
thereby necessitating the giving up, either partly or entirely, 
of money-making pursuits. 

Forbes secured from Mott a statement of the basis upon 
which he had taken an active part in government. 

We business men have been content for the most part 
merely to rail at the doings and the misdeeds of those filling 
public offices. We often talk sneeringly of this, that and the 
next foolishness indulged in by the "politicians." But what have 
most of us done to try to better matters? Not a thing. 

Years ago I gave the subject of a citizen's responsibility 
toward his community, towards his fellow men, very serious 
thought, and I decided that I could not very well retain my 
self-respect unless I were prepared to undertake such public 
responsibility as others might wish to call upon me to under- 
take. Here I was, comfortably situated financially, so that my 
family would not suffer were I to withdraw from daily busi- 
ness. I possessed robust health. I had enjoyed technical train- 
ing as an engineer, fairly wide experience in the handling of 
men, experience also in conducting rather large business af- 
fairs, thus, presumably, fitting me to some extent at least for 
dealing with many of the duties connected with administration 
of civic and state affairs. 

It was because I had reasoned things out in this way and 
had reached a definite decision that it was incumbent upon 


me, if I desired to retain in the fullest degree my self-respect, 
to respond, when possible, to any call that might be made upon 
me to discharge public duties, that I consented to become 
mayor of my town years ago, when the people were clamoring 
to be delivered from the unpleasant conditions brought about 
by a Socialistic mayor. 

It was in exactly the same spirit that I later consented to 
allow my name to be put up at the primary as a candidate for 
governor of the State. The fact that I did not head the poll 
did not could not alter my caref ully-reasoned-out attitude 
towards the shouldering of public responsibilities whenever 
called upon to do so. 

America has afforded me opportunity to make reasonable 
headway in the world and to provide for my family. Why 
should I not stand ready, like a loyal soldier I served six 
years in the Naval Militia and through the Spanish War in 
the Navy to take orders from my fellow-citizens and obey 
any summons to serve my country in any capacity they might 
consider me fit to undertake? 

In comment, Forbes noted: 

Outside of his own State and his own industry, Charles S. 
Mott is not very widely known, largely because he is no seeker 
after publicity, no courter of the limelight He is, and always 
has been, a doer rather than a talker. His brain works better 
than his tongue. He is not a glib orator. He is content to be 
simply himself an undemonstrative, serious-minded, hard- 
working citizen, intent upon getting worthwhile things done 
efficiently, smoothly, expeditiously, leaving the results to speak 
for themselves. 

Forbes also pointed out the importance of Mott's job in Gen- 
eral Motors: 

General Motors has its financial headquarters in New York, 
but its operating activities center around Detroit, and other 
parts of Michigan. C. S. Mott has always been high in the 
operating councils of General Motors. It is to him that his 
fellow-members of the executive committee look for unfailing 

co-operation in guiding and directing the operations of the 
various huge automobile and other plants that form General 

After a biographical sketch of Mott, and a resume of the 
development of the Weston-Mott Company, Forbes stated: 
"From a concern worth perhaps $100,000 when Mott joined 
it in 1900, Weston-Mott had grown so rapidly and so soundly 
that by 1913, it was worth fully $3,000,000 a very substan- 
tial return for thirteen years of intense application.'* 

Explaining that he had "tried to get Mr. Mott to tefl how 
a man can best cultivate executive qualities," Forbes con- 

But Mr. Mott is a poor talker about himself or his achieve- 
ments. With much prodding, I did succeed in getting this 
much out of him: 

"The first consideration in business is to see to it that you 
produce something for which there is a demand. 

"The next thing is make the thing right, and the next as 
important as any is to make the price right. 

"You must exercise eternal vigilance in watching overhead. 
Many little expenses run into a large sum in the end. Some 
concerns concentrate almost wholly upon reducing production 
costs and neglect selling costs. Economic distribution is just 
as essential as economic production. 

"Get facts. Never guess. Keep statistical records. Know 
every month exactly what your business has done in all its de- 
partments. Don't merely have these statistics compiled: study 
them, analyze them, use them as a basis for your reasoning, 
as a foundation for your vision of the future and your plan- 
ning. Get down to the bedrock of things. Investigate things to 
the bottom. Think things through. 

"Devote careful attention to training other men to shoulder 
and properly discharge responsibilities. When you get towards 
the top, or to the top, organize yourself out of a job. Encour- 
age your best co-workers to reach out for greater responsi- 

"Don't look over others' shoulders every moment of the 


day to see what they are doing. Give them scope. Give them 
latitude. Encourage them to think for themselves. Encourage 
them to develop initiative. Don't pounce on them when they 
make mistakes; sit down and reason things out with them so 
that, while they won't make the same mistake again, they 
won't be afraid to exercise originality again lest they might 
make another mistake." 

The Forbes interview also quoted Mott on another special 
characteristic one that has been influential in many ways 
throughout his life his sense of the importance of health, 
and every man's responsibility to maintain his own good health 
at best: 

I am a great believer in keeping physically fit. I think this 
is of tremendous importance for any man who is in earnest 
about accomplishing the very most of which he is capable. 

I go in for horseback riding, for farming, for hunting, for 
fishing whenever I can contrive to find the time. But I don't 
take vacations to do these things. I believe a man can keep 
himself in better condition while working and sticking to his 
job than when he goes away on a vacation and does nothing 
else but pursue recreation and amusement and exercise. After 
such a vacation, there comes a relapse. Instead of taking an 
overdose of exercise for a week or two at a time and then 
taking little or no real exercise for weeks or months at a 
stretch, it is better, I believe, to stick right to one's job and 
squeeze in a rational amount of exercise and recreation right 
along. This keeps the muscles as well as the mind in condition 
regularly. It flattens out the health curve, so to speak, instead 
of sending it away up one week then letting it slump. 

In this interview, Forbes also commented on one of the 
paradoxical features of Mott: 

I have already recorded that Mr. Mott isn't of the "regular 
fellow," "good mixer" type. Indeed, he gives strangers the 
impression of being rather austere, unbending, even cold. Yet 
I discovered, in the course of my investigation, that Mr. Mott, 
as one of his intimates put it, "has a heart as big as an ox." 

He gives a great deal of money to the Flint YMCA (of which 
he has been president) , to community chests, to the church, 
to philanthropic societies, and to other worthy or public pur- 
poses. But he does it so quietly that few people catch a glimpse 
of this side of his character. 

We are indebted to B. C. Forbes for this portrait of Mott 
at the age of fifty-one, during his most active years as a busi- 
ness executive guiding the destinies of General Motors opera- 
tions as chief of staff in the Detroit office. There have been 
many interviews with Mott, many stories written about him 
and his activities, but none other has caught so much of the 
quality of the man himself, or embodied such clear statements 
of the basic principles by which he has worked and lived. 

In 1926, Mott took a step from which great strides in com- 
munity development would come. That step was the formal 
establishment of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. 

The factors leading to this action were several. Mott re- 
membered the complexities of settlement of his father's estate, 
and had a strong belief that each man should take great care 
in providing in advance for the wise and efficient administra- 
tion of his affairs after his death. The idea of establishing a 
foundation was suggested to Mott by a General Motors attor- 
ney who had drawn up the necessary documentation to set up 
a foundation for the owner of a group of cigar stores. Here 
was an engineer's kind of planning for the future, a way of 
organizing his help to the community and making it business- 
like taking as much care in the spending of his money as he 
had devoted to earning it. 

The very real encouragement offered by the income tax 
laws also indicated to Mott that the Government encouraged 
private giving and, with his strong sense of responsible and 
personal administration of any business, he has always felt 
that he could make sure of getting the greatest value for people 
by carrying out his own program of help to the community. 

Mott had already, over a period of years, demonstrated 
his strong desire to help others; he had given an important 


building to Flint's Hurley Hospital, a farm for the use of the 
children of Flint, land across from his home for use as a park. 
He had been a major factor in the establishment and success 
of the YMCA and the Boy Scouts in Flint His efforts and 
funds, with the help of Dr. DeKleine and the Flint School 
Board had initiated a dental and medical clinic for Flint school 
children. He had contributed generously and regularly to other 
community endeavors, and had taken special interest in boys' 
club work and the Kiwanis Health Camp while in Detroit. 
Actually, his services as mayor were another kind of gift to 
the community. An item from the diary Mott has maintained 
for a number of years gives a clear and simple statement of the 
origin of the Foundation: 

As the years went on, with less demand for time from busi- 
ness, and with greater realization of my responsibilities to 
society, and observing how many well-intended ideas and 
plans went astray after a man's death, when he provided funds 
in his wfll and left the execution of same to trustees, untrained 
and unfamiliar with his policies, I caused to be incorporated 
in 1926 under the laws of the State of Michigan, the Charles 
Stewart Mott Foundation, with a broad charter to carry on 
philanthropic, charitable, and educational work, with six Trus- 
tees, the principal one of which was my old and trusted friend 
Roy E. Brownell whose ideals were identical with my own. 

The idea was to get started and in operation worthy projects 
and the Trustees familiar with the work during my lifetime, 
instead of leaving funds and hoping that satisfactory results 
might be forthcoming after my passing a hope which was not 
forthcoming in many instances I had observed in the case of 
those who left the job to be started after death. 

The original trustees, in addition to Mott himself, were his 
three children, Aimee Mott Butler, Elsa B. Mott, C. S. Harding 
Mott along with Roy E. Brownell, Mott's attorney as well as 
his close friend for many years, and Edward E. MacCrone of 
Detroit. The first officers were: president and treasurer, C. S. 
Mott; vice-president, ElsaB. Mott; secretary, Roy E. Brownell. 

Mott's initial gift to the Foundation was 2,000 shares of 
General Motors stock, valued at $160 a share at that time. 
Since then its assets have increased steadily through annual 
gifts from Mott and the members of his family. 

Thus, in terms of funds, the power plant was being built 
but not for nine years was it to be hitched to the great vehicle 
for which it has since become internationally known. For the 
first few years after 1926, the Foundation furnished financial 
support to a number of projects including: The Flint Rotary 
Club's Crippled Children's Program, Kiwanis Health Camp, 
Lions Club Sight-Saving Program, Flint Community Fund, 
United Service Organizations, America Red Cross, Flint In- 
stitute of Arts, an underprivileged boys' camp near Flint, 
various local churches, and several colleges and universities. 
The Foundation did not in itself undertake any single major 
project or program during this period. But as the depression 
settled over Flint, with spreading waves of social disintegra- 
tion, Mott became increasingly interested in the problems of 
children and young people of Flint. And in 1935, the engine 
and the vehicle were to be joined to become the Mott Founda- 
tion Program the world knows about today. 



It was in 1929 that Mott's banking activities proved rather 
expensive to him. Mott had been president of Union Industrial 
Bank, then had become chairman of the board of directors. 
Less than a year after the Union Industrial Bank had become 
part of the Guardian Group, it was discovered that a group of 
employees of the bank had been playing the market and had 
embezzled some $3,593,000 from the bank. Mott recalls: 

I was in Detroit and was called on the phone in the after- 
noon and told that there had been some financial trouble in 
the Union Industrial Bank, and that there had been an em- 
bezzlement by some of the employees. I had to get in my car 
and hustle up to Flint, getting there in the early evening. I 
remember that there was a meeting of the directors which 
lasted until about four or five o'clock in the morning. The 
stock in the bank was then owned by the Guardian Group, 
and at the invitation of the directors and managers of the 
Guardian Group, I put up securities of about a million dollars 
to make a loan to make good on the embezzlement and that 
continued from time to time and increased until it got to be 
over three million dollars. In the final analysis about two mil- 
lion dollars was lost. There were a number of other stock- 
holders who had a meeting, and they undertook to make 
pledges to pay a certain amount depending on the stock they 
had but I had first to loan, next the directors helped me out. 
Then they had a meeting of the stockholders and they helped 
the others out When the whole thing sifted out, I think it cost 
me about one and a quarter million dollars. 

Newspapers all around the country carried the story and 
amazement seemed to be about equaUy divided between the 
size of the embezzlement (said to be the largest in the history 

of the country) and the fact that one man, Mott, had pro- 
vided funds to cover the loss. 

It was, of course, the market crash which had brought the 
loss to light since the bank employees were notably unsuc- 
cessful in their stock speculations with the bank's money. The 
Literary Digest of December 7, 1929, carried the story of the 
affair, quoting various newspapers and presenting a picture 
of Mott. The Detroit News said, "Out of the strange situation 
at Flint, Mr. Mott emerges as a hero." 

Later one stockholder brought suit against Mott, the Guard- 
ian Detroit Union Group, Inc., the Guardian National Bank 
of Commerce, and the Union Industrial Trust and Savings 
Bank to recover some $27,000 which the stockholder had 
paid as an assessment on stock owned. The claim was that 
Mott should have been able to detect or forestall the defalca- 
tions if he had attended the directors meetings regularly. The 
case was dismissed, and Mott was absolved of blame the 
point being made by the court that the directors who had at- 
tended the meetings regularly were unable to forestall the 
defalcations, and that the bank examiners could not discover 

General Motors and Flint shared the accelerated production 
of 1928 and 1929. In those two years together, General Motors 
sold some 10 million units for more than $7 billion. Chevrolet 
alone produced 1% million cars and trucks in 1929. And then, 
of course, came the difficult times. The depression was devas- 
tating everywhere but perhaps most painful of all in such 
cities as Flint, which had almost always been known for its 
prosperity. To the people who had come from everywhere 
for Flint* s big wages, it was as if golden streets had turned to 
lead. These workers with such diverse backgrounds had pos- 
sessed nothing in common except their source of income; when 
that failed, only their differences remained. 

For Mott, the career of William S. Knudsen increasingly 
gave reason for pride in having hired him. First as vice-presi- 
dent of Chevrolet and then from January 24, 1924 as 


president Knudsen made tremendous contributions in the ex- 
pansion and development of the Chevrolet Division to its 
leading position as the volume manufacturer of cars. Begin- 
ning April 1, 1932, Knudsen was also in charge of Pontiac 
production. On February 23, 1932, Knudsen wired Mott at 
Jack Van Ryder's, Camp Verde, Arizona: 



On October 16, 1933, Knudsen was made an executive vice- 
president of General Motors as general supervisor of car and 
body manufacturing. This brought an even closer relationship 
between him and Mott. 

Although the strong development of Knudsen fitted in with 
Mott's principle to "organize himself out of a job" by helping 
bring up strong leadership within General Motors, Mott still 
carried vital responsibilities in 1934, and still spent a good 
portion of the week at the General Motors Building in Detroit, 
remaining a vice-president until 1937. 

Among Mott's consistent loyalties has been that toward 
public service, both through an active interest in public and 
political affairs, and through agencies devoted to social serv- 
ice. Through backing boys' club work in Detroit, Mott had 
purchased and established a summer camp for underprivileged 
boys at Pero Lake, northeast of Flint. At first this camp was 
operated by the Vortex Club of Detroit; later, Floyd Adams 
operated the camp as a Mott Foundation activity. 

The 185-acre farm south of Flint that Mott had originally 
purchased to be operated by a church men's club as a summer 
camp for Flint children later reverted to Mott, and he gave it, 
along with additionally purchased land, to the Flint YMCA, 
as Camp Copneconic. 

A year of vital transition in Mott's life was 1934. By that 
time, his three children were married and away from home. 

Mott continued at Applewood, and had an active circle of 
friends with whom he spent much time in Flint: Roy Brownell, 
the William Masons, Mrs. Nell Medberry, Taine McDougal, 
Willis Thorne, the H. H. Curtice family, the James Burroughs 
family, and others. Tennis had become an almost daily activity 
in good weather, and there were the grounds and the livestock 
at Applewood to hold his interest. 

From the time of the Union Industrial Bank difficulties in 
1929, Mott had been involved in a number of legal actions. 
One included appearing in 1934 before a Washington investi- 
gating committee concerned with the affairs of the Guardian 
Group. His attorney and friend, Roy Brownell, accompanied 
Mott on the trip to Washington. Ferdinand Pecora was con- 
ducting the questioning. Mott's diary, under date of January 
17, 1934, notes: "After being sworn in by Senator Fletcher, 
I was asked by Pecora what my principal business was. I estab- 
lished it as, 'defendant of law suits, etc/ Then he questioned 
me regarding sale of a large block of Guardian Group stock 
to Harry Covington, and I gave full reasons and explanation 
of the transaction bringing in the excellent work done by 
Covington and his advancement in the organization." 

The next day, Mott was recalled for another hour and a 
half. He notes in his diary for January 18: 

I was not badly treated but was asked many leading and 
searching questions regarding sale of stock to Covington, and 
some other matters relating to Group, and also re: Union 
Industrial Bank defalcation and payments thereon. I probably 
overlooked some opportunities for making record, but did 
inject some things that were not intended by Pecora. It was 
somewhat difficult at times, but I was not razzed and did not 
feel nervous, and I think the record is all right, though of 
course future events may prove to the contrary. 

While he was in Washington, Mott visited the Senate, House 
of Representatives, and Supreme Court. Just as he was check- 
ing out at his hotel, ready to return to Flint, he encountered 
Pecora in the hotel lobby. Mott told Pecora he had nothing of 


which to complain. Pecora grinned, shook hands, and wished 
Mott a pleasant journey. In the following weeks, Mott was 
widely congratulated in Detroit and Flint for his statements 
before the investigating committee. 

Returning to Applewood, Mott was taken aback by the 
amount of paperwork awaiting him in connection with other 
legal actions, tax matters, and similar affairs. He notes in his 
diary for January 20, 1934: 

No end of work to be done. Of all the damn-fool footless 
things with lawsuits, attacks, hearings, reports, etc., the 
amount of work to be done is terrific, and it has to be done 
if I am to get a show for my white alley. And when it's all 
done, it is simply to keep me from "paying through the nose," 
being mulcted, going to jail, or what not. It doesn't put me 
ahead a foot but just wears me out and makes me ill-tempered 
and damning everything in general especially an army of 
sharpers and shysters in the Government and out. If I have 
left a particle of faith in humanity, patriotism, or public spirit, 
it will be a miracle. As soon as I can get things off my neck 
and postponed for a few months, I'll try to go West, for the 
benefit of my friends in the East if for no other reason. 

On the next day, Sunday, January 21, 1934, his diary nota- 
tions include: "Walked around the place for an hour. The 
horses seemed glad to see me, but that was because they ex- 
pected sugar, which I brought them." (This may very well 
be the most cynical recorded statement of a man who has been 
anything but cynical in his attitudes.) 

The next day, Mott's diary notes, "... it was quite apparent 
that local Income Tax Inspector and Reviewer were deter- 
mined to make life a nightmare to me. Among other things, 
they were going to annihilate my Foundation." Mott presented 
full facts and figures, asking no favors, but determined to 
secure justice "based on the law." 

A day later, January 23, 1934, the diary notes include: 

. . . stopped in to see Ket and ask him regarding progress 
on Diesel engines for ships, boats, locomotives, individual 

railway cars, trucks, and aircraft; also, developments of anti- 
knock fuel, variable transmissions, automobile springing, aero- 
dynamic designs, and other things, and never before has it 
appeared that there was any greater opportunity for tremen- 
dous changes, developments, and improvements (all of which 
are in progress at the Research Laboratory) than at this mo- 
ment. The amount of confidence in the future of General 
Motors gained by such a conversation with Ket is almost be- 
yond comprehension and, as you know, I am not much given 
to exaggeration. 

Prom the middle of February until the first of May, Mott 
made one of the Western trips he enjoyed so much, including 
some rough-country travel. He also visited the home of a 
cousin, Sarah Mott Rawlings, wife of Dr. Junius A. Rawlings, 
of El Paso, Texas. Enjoying his stay with the family, Mott 
found himself particularly happy in the company of one of 
the daughters, Ruth Rawlings, whom he mentioned more and 
more frequently in his daily journal. 

On October 13, 1934, Charles Stewart Mott and Ruth 
Rawlings were married in St. Clement's Church Chapel in El 
Paso, Texas. Mott reported the happy wedding day very fully 
in his diary in such terms as this: "The Bride was on the arm 
of her father, and as she came down the aisle, tall and stately 
and like the Elsa of Lohengrin, the waiting Bridegroom turned 
toward her, and she looked at him, and he was nearly over- 
come with emotion." 

After a leisurely and greatly enjoyed trip to Hawaii, the 
Motts returned to El Paso November 15, and to Flint Novem- 
ber 27. Mrs. Mott shared her husband's wide-ranging interests, 
and brought new enthusiasms of her own and Applewood 
blossomed afresh in hospitality and happy life. 

Mott still carried his responsibilities as General Motors 
vice-president, along with a diversified program of interests 
including his banking activities, his investments in the sugar 
industry, and his other industrial occupations. His own per- 
sonal staff at this time included Roy Brownell as attorney, 


John Getz as a financial secretary, Miss Ruth Dill as secretary 
in Detroit, and Miss Ellen Rubel as secretary in Flint. In 
addition to handling his own affairs and those associated with 
the Mott Foundation, Mott acted as financial advisor and agent 
for his children and their families as well as for his sister and 
her children. Each of Motf s three children had presented him 
with grandchildren and the first child of his son, C. S. Har- 
ding Mott, was also named Charles Stewart so that Mott 
referred to him frequently and affectionately in his diary as 

Mott has always had a tremendous zest for living, and in 
1935 it was intensified to new levels as he introduced Mrs. 
Mott to his far-flung world of interests. Her delight with every- 
thing, and the evident approval with which she was accepted 
by his Mends and associates, were additional elements of 
pleasure and pride to Mott Mrs. Mott had been active in 
Junior League work for years, and she took an enthusiastic 
interest in the workings of the Mott Foundation as she did 
in all the varied fields with which Mott was concerned. 

The Motts took a Western trip in the spring of 1935, and 
Mott gave his wife an introduction to the Arizona country he 
had come to enjoy so much. Back home in Flint early in May, 
Mott resumed his busy round of activities in Detroit and Flint. 
His diary for May 16, 1935 (in which Mrs. Mott is mentioned 
as "C.R.") indicates his great interest in the camp for boys: 

Roy Brownell arrived for lunch and immediately after- 
wards, he, C.R., and I drove over to Mott Camp for Boys, 
on Pero Lake 18 miles from here, where we looked over 
progress of work in preparation for our summer camp. The 
kitchen has been moved to its new site; new dining hall- 
auditorium is nearly completed, with fine chimney and fire- 
place. A new well has been put in about 220 feet deep and 
wfll be operated by electric automatic Delco pump. Wires for 
electricity are being run from main line a few hundred yards 
away, so there will be electricity not only for pumping, but 
for electric ice boxes and lights. 

We have delivery of a fine new Chevrolet truck with C.C.C. 

steel body, which is just a dandy thing for our work, not only 
during construction but also to cany supplies. It also has seats 
for bringing the boys over from town. Garages are being built 
under the dining room. We are putting up another building 
with three small hospital rooms for our camp Doctor. Later 
we may put up another small building in suitable location, 
which we will call the Administration Building, for the camp 
Director, from which point he can keep an eye on all of the 
activities. These are the only buildings that will be used. The 
boys will be housed two in a tent which will have wooden 
floors and cots, which experience has proved the most satis- 
factory arrangement, both for the boys and for operation. 

We are also changing the landscape slightly by removing the 
knob of one hill, filling in and leveling a large athletic field 
where the boys will have their sports. We are also developing 
a fine swimming dock, providing ample safety and supervision 
for the youngsters. Altogether, the place is showing a lot of 
activity and improvement. 

We have had a list of some 800 suitable boys prepared by 
the city school principals. These boys are from 10 to 14 years 
of age, and from families which are utterly unable to bear any 
expense or provide such outings for the boys. As it looks now, 
we expect to be able to take care of between 400 and 500 of 
these boys this summer. There will be about 80 boys at a time 
in camp covering two-week periods. Our personnel organiza- 
tion is all arranged for, and it looks as though the project will 
go through in good shape. 

Roy Brownell, one of our Trustees, is very much interested, 
and puts a lot of time and thought on it C.R. is very enthusi- 
astic and expects to make frequent trips out to see the camp 
this summer. 

There are many other references to the camp in subsequent 
diary entries; capacity was increased to over 100 boys instead 
of 80 in each group before the season began. Floyd Adams, 
who was operating the camp for Mott, worked very hard 
perfecting tie establishment. On his sixtieth birthday, June 
2, 1935, Mott visited the camp; his diary for that day reflects 
pleasure and pride in the many improvements. 

On June 21, 1935, Mott's diary records his attending a 


Rotary Club meeting at which Frank J. Manley, supervisor of 
physical education for Flint public schools, was the speaker. 
Four days later Mott reports a visit from Manley which 
ended in a tennis game with Mott and Manley playing against 
Mr. and Mrs. James Burroughs. Thereafter, Manley's name 
is found frequently in Mott's 1935 diary. A long July 25 entry 
demonstrates the personal interest and concern Mott felt for 
the boys attending Mott Camp: 

At 5:00, Hoyd Adams picked me up and took me out to 
the Boys' Camp. We made inspection of the place. At 6:00, 
bugle sounded for assembly and the boys assembled in groups 
of their tribes around the base of the hill on which the flags 
were located. The staff were on the hill in front of the adminis- 
tration building. The boys were called to attention and the 
leaders checked them in their tribes, examined their hands 
for cleanliness; later each leader reported members of tribe all 
present and accounted for, and the boys were called to raise 
their hands in salute to the flag while Colors were being blown 
on the bugle and all the flags in the camp were simultaneously 
lowered. When this ceremony was over, the boys marched up 
to the mess hall for supper. 

I was called on for a little talk, and afterwards I think every 
boy in the place came up and shook hands with me. They 
seemed to be a mighty nice lot of kids and extremely appreci- 
ative. This is rather noteworthy in view of the fact that the 
families from which these boys come are probably below 
average, the parents being least educated and informed, uncul- 
tured and ignorant, not giving their children proper training 
nor care. In fact, sometimes we think the parents of these boys 
need training more than the boys do. These boys are not at 
all used to restraint or control. In a camp of over 100 boys 
it is necessary to have control for their own welfare and safety, 
and this is not accomplished by strict discipline or punishment 
but entirely by leadership and confidence in the leaders en- 
gendered in the boys. I think a good job of this is being 
done. . . . 

Of course this is the first year that we have operated this 
large camp, which is running about 115 boys. Our organiza- 

tion, staff, etc., is more or less newly put together. . . . Next 
year we hope to have the whole proposition running like clock- 
work. I forgot to say that when I made my talk to the boys, 
I told them that C.R. was very regretful that she could not 
have been present, and that she had sent best wishes and 
kind regards to all of the boys, and especially to those whom 
she had met in their homes 

Often in his diary, Mott expresses his enthusiastic approval 
of Harlow H. Curtice both as a friend and as an executive. 
The September 25, 1935, entry records Mott's attending a 
Buick appreciation banquet given in honor of Curtice that 
evening, at which speakers included Sloan, Knudsen, and 
other major figures in General Motors with that automotive 
pioneer, A. B. C. Hardy, as chairman of the affair, and Flint 
Journal editor, Michael Gorman, as toastmaster. Motf s diary 
notes, "My personal feeling is that Curtice and his associates 
have done a marvelous job, and no honor or recognition can 
be in excess of what they deserve." The next day, Mott felt 
that the tributes to Curtice "did not quite ring the bell, due to 
absence of a strong and direct statement," so he undertook to 
write such a statement and showed it to Gorman. Gorman 
asked Mott for a copy, and on September 27, 1935, the follow- 
ing story appeared in the Journal along with pictures of Curtice 
and Mott 


So enthusiastic was the spirit of Wednesday night's appre- 
ciation dinner for Buick and the crowd included so many the 
audience would have been glad to hear, that no doubt a very 
interesting volume would be a collection of speeches which 
might have been made. 

Charles S. Mott, vice-president of General Motors, a di- 
rector and member of the Finance Committee, was confronted 
with this thought and "the speech I might have made" was 
obtained from him. "I would have directed my remarks to 
Harlow H. Curtice, President of Buick, and it would have 
been something like this," he said: 

"We, your friends and neighbors, as citizens of Flint are 


gathered here tonight to honor you and through you your 
organization who have done so much for us. 

"This hall is large and it is filled. It would have to be many 
times as large to hold all of your admirers and those whom 
you have benefited. 

"Some of us are stockholders of General Motors, some are 
merchants, professionals, and others of all walks of life. But 
all of us are your friends and all of us are benefited directly 
or indirectly by your excellent management of the Buick Di- 
vision and your interest and participation in matters of civic 

"And we are here to acknowledge that debt and to express 
to you our gratitude. 

"We have listened with interest to Mr. Sloan who says we 
are now out of the depression and on our way to prosperity. 
We sincerely hope he is right and know you are doing your 
best to make this a fact. 

"We are always glad to hear from Mr. Knudsen than 
whom the working man has no more sincere a friend his 
attitude towards labor and a fair deal is an inspiration to us 
all. And we know of no one who will work harder to put his 
ideas into effect than yourself. 

"You have just completed the presentation of your new 
line of Buicks, which carry all of the merits of past years plus. 
These new cars have the maximum beauty, performance, and 
satisfaction that has ever been put into a line of automobiles, 
and the only persons who will suffer thereby are your com- 
petitors and Buick service men. 

"We know that you could not have done this alone. We 
know that you have had to have the earnest assistance and 
co-operation of your associates, engineering and manufactur- 
ing departments and Fisher organization, and we want them 
to know that we understand and appreciate it. But every busi- 
ness has to have a head, to sort the wheat from the chaff, to 
hold up a standard to work to, and to make decisions of 
prime importance. You are head of the Buick and you have 
done all three things, and we are here to tell you of our ap- 
preciation and friendship. We are glad to be your friends." 

C S. Mott 

Thus Mott gave public affirmation of his respect and admi- 
ration for Curtice and showed once more his abiding loyalty 
to Sloan and Knudsen also, and to General Motors. There 
are many definitions of the functions of the head of a business 
but perhaps none was ever simpler, clearer, or more genu- 
inely inclusive than Mott's ". . . to sort the wheat from the chaff, 
to hold up a standard to work to, and to make decisions of 
prime importance." Over the years, at Buick and as president 
of General Motors, Curtice continued to hold Mott's respect, 
admiration, and friendship. Mott once mentioned Nash and 
Curtice as the two men with the greatest gift for common 
sense he had ever known. 

While Mott's interests and activities in behalf of Flint were 
broadening and intensifying, his personal plans widened also. 
After he and Mrs. Mott had visited Bermuda in January, they 
had decided to buy Parapet, a 9-acre Bermuda estate with a 
fine house and two smaller dwellings. The estate includes about 
1,000 feet on Hamilton Harbor. The Motts spent the last days 
of October, all of November, and the first few days of Decem- 
ber, 1935, at Parapet enjoying everything hugely. 

Mott immediately undertook many repaks and improve- 
ments for Parapet correcting some faulty electrical wiring 
himself, and engaging carpenters, plumbers, gardeners, elec- 
tricians, and an architect to follow out his plans. There were 
tennis, bicycling, and pleasant times with Mott's sister, Edith, 
and her husband, Herbert Davis, living not far away. 

Returning to Flint early in December, Mott plunged Imme- 
diately into the complex patterns of interests and activities in 
Detroit and Flint. His diary for Monday, December 16, 1935, 
notes: "Frank Manley came up and made a very complete 
report on his recreational work, on which he is doing a mag- 
nificent job." This concerns aspects of Mott's 1935 activities 
not yet detailed, and which deserve being set forth here in 
closer view and from another perspective in the pages to follow. 



To quote from the introduction of this book: "When a man 
believes that nothing else is important, really, except people, 
how can he implement his belief effectively?" 

In a broad sense, the deeply satisfying answer to that ques- 
tion was demonstrated to Mott by one man, Frank J. Manley, 
whose life has been dedicated to the ideal of giving men, 
women, and children the greatest possible opportunity to 
develop. This ideal was identical with Mott's own; the differ- 
ence was that Manley bruising his head against official 
obstacles, and his heart against human suffering, during Flint's 
depression years had worked out a definite means of carry- 
ing the ideal into actual practice. His impulsive trial-and-error 
experience in attempting to help young people in those diffi- 
cult times had given Manley a blueprint for action. But action 
on a scale large enough to be truly helpful to the obvious needs 
of the community called for funds far beyond any Manley 
had been able to secure. When Mott found that he and Manley 
shared a common ideal, and that Manley had a practical plan 
of attack on the devastating waste of human lives character- 
istic of depression living, the Mott Foundation in its present 
form had its real beginning. 

Like Mott, Manley came to Flint from New York State, but 
his early years and his path to Flint were very different from 
Mott's. Manley grew up in Herkimer, New York and the 
automobile affected his family's income situation adversely. 
Manley has made references to his early days, and his first 
years in Flint, in the course of various talks he has made and 
in written notes. From these sources, in Manley's own words, 
is drawn the following account of the background and the 
factors which lead to the Mott-Manley combination that cre- 
ated the Mott Foundation as we know it today. 

My father had a livery stable. Automobiles were coming 
into being more and more, and the livery stable business was 
going out. We couldn't hire any help in this livery stable, so 
I stayed at the barn and hung around there driving hacks 
during the first influenza epidemic in World War I. I started 
skipping school, and my father didn't care a whole lot. He 
didn't seem to care too much about formal education anyway. 
My mother had died years before, when I was ten. 

In the ninth grade, I quit school altogether. I didn't get 
much urging to finish school except from my sisters, who were 
a little older than I was and from the fellows at the pool- 
room. So it was the boys at the poolroom who were my edu- 
cational counselors and vocational guidance directors. They 
wanted to have a good football team and I played a pretty 
rugged brand of ball in those days so they got me to go 
back to school. 

I went back to school to play football and, after that, 
basketball and baseball. I had to keep up passing grades in 
my school subjects to be eligible for sports. After four years 
of keeping eligible in order to play, they stopped my high 
school athletic career by graduating me. With that experience, 
it's no wonder I picked up the idea that participation in ath- 
letics was not only the way to keep out of trouble, but also the 
motive for getting an education. 

In fact, I believed that athletic participation was a sort of 
saving grace for all mankind. Athletics beckoned me on to 
college, too and I came to Michigan State Normal College 
in Ypsilanti, where I continued with sports and physical edu- 

From 1923 to 1927, I had the privilege of learning from 
Professor Wilbur P. Bowen, the greatest physical educator 
I've ever known. He not only believed in the importance of 
athletics and group recreation he believed that they provided 
the key to good living, and that all community facilities should 
be made available for people to use for such activities. He 
felt that when people have a chance to express themselves in 
athletics and recreation, their tendency to do the right thing is 
improved for their whole lives. He was preaching a doctrine 
that my own experience verified, and I was and still am 


inspired by his ideas. One of Ms specific ideas was keeping 
school buildings open around the clock, around the year, for 
public use in recreation programs open to everyone. 

And, from Professor Charles M. Elliot, head of the Special 
Education Department at Michigan State Normal College, I 
derived another fundamental idea: every person is an indi- 
vidual and is to be treated as such. This includes the fact that 
you don't treat anyone as being a Catholic, or Jew, or Gentile, 
or Negro, or capitalist, or laborer but only as a separate, in- 
dividual human being to be respected and valued for himself. 
After being graduated from college in 1927, 1 came to Flint 
as a physical education instructor in the fall and the most 
important things I brought with me were those two beliefs. I 
came to Flint with the idea of practicing those two things: 
treating everyone as an individual, and using all the resources 
of the community for the people through recreation and ath- 
letics. At least I knew exactly what I wanted to do. 

I had enthusiasm and energy. I was teaching at Central 
and at Whittier, and directing the physical education program 
in the elementary schools. In 1928, I became supervisor of 
physical education for all Flint Public Schools. 

One day, the principal at Martin School told me they were 

having trouble with a group of boys who were skipping classes 

and accomplishing nothing when they did come to class. I 

said, "Let's form a Sportsmen's Club. I'll come out noon 

hours." We started with fifteen boys, and the group built up 

to thirty. I'd go out three noon hours a week and put on a 

basketball suit, and those kids would maul the daylights out 

of me. Then we'd have a business meeting, which consisted of 

my saying, "Give me the reports from your teachers. I want 

to know how you're doing." The reports got better all the 

time and so did the boys. Some of those boys had already 

been in trouble with the courts but they all turned out mighty 

well. I wasn't a social worker; I just knew that if you paid 

some attention to them and gave them a chance at athletics 

it would straighten them out Later I came to understand 

that it wasn't athletics as such but the personal attention 

that really mattered. I started two other Sportsmen's Clubs at 

other schools, and wanted to spread this kind of plan all over 


Flint but the Board of Education could find no money for it. 

All those fine school buildings which, after all, belonged 
to the people were closed in the afternoon at 4 o'clock, and 
no efforts of mine could get them opened for use after that 
hour. All the people in authority listened to my story, but 
there was always a reason they couldn't do anything about it. 

I started trying in 1927, in the boom days, and kept right 
on trying into the depression days when things were mighty 
rough in Flint. People were shaking their heads about the 
ever-increasing juvenile delinquency. 

We had all kinds of traffic accidents, too, especially involv- 
ing children, for lack of sufficient playgrounds and playground 
supervision. We had many drownings in the Flint River and 
other local swimming places as kids found (heir own recre- 
ation. I saw all these things happening and, believing in ath- 
letics as I did, and the use of community buildings and re- 
sources for public participation, I thought I had the answers 
to all this tragic waste of human life, but I couldn't seem to 
convince anyone in a position of authority. 

I went out on calls with members of the Flint Police De- 
partment. I saw what life was like on the wrong side of the 
tracks in Flint. I couldn't help feeling most people would do 
(he right things instead of (he wrong things if (hey had a 
chance; I wanted to give (hem that chance, but I couldn't 
make any headway. It seemed to me that the men in charge 
of things were wearing blinders, or didn't really want to see 
what life was like for most folks in Flint. They'd listen while 
I talked, but it seemed they didn't really hear what I said be- 
cause they didn't do anything about it. 

I went to probate court every Saturday morning, and before 
long I had a list of ninety fellows on probation to me boys 
who were really in trouble, and who otherwise would have 
been sentenced to the Boys' Vocational School at Lansing. 
I'm not sure I knew what I was doing, but I was trying. I 
worked with those kids. Maybe I learned a lot more from 
(hem (han they learned from me. I found (hat a little love 
a little personal attention and really treating (hem as indi- 
viduals went a long way with (hose boys. I tried to get them 
organized into a club, and got a few other fellows who felt 


as I did to take an interest in them. But as far as making 
progress with my major idea of public recreation and athletic 
programs using public facilities, I still was getting nowhere. 

Chris Addison, who was in charge of traffic safety for the 
Flint Police Department, teamed up with me to see if we could 
do something about safety and juvenile delinquency, working 
through the PTAs and Child Study Clubs. Chris gave more 
than 1,400 talks in one year, speaking in every schoolroom 
in Flint. I don't know how many groups I spoke to. We would 
try to get to these people with actual cases not naming names, 
but telling the real circumstances of juvenile crime, drownings, 
traffic accidents, and the other ills threatening Flint's young 
people. We did strike sparks of response among these groups, 
and win loyal friends for what we were trying to accomplish. 

Flint's PTAs were strong and active even in those days, and 
they were deeply interested in the problems, and possible 
solutions to those problems, which we presented as dramati- 
cally as we could to their groups but even their interest did 
not make the schools available for use to the public. 

A Recreation Council was formed, with all Flint agencies 
concerned with recreation represented: the City Recreation 
Department, Junior League, YMCA, YWCA, Boy Scouts, 
Girl Scouts, Industrial Mutual Association, and others. I was 
named first chairman of this council, and each agency was to 
make what contribution it could, within its appropriate area 
of service, to a co-ordinated recreation program for Flint. 
This Recreation Council sponsored our first leadership train- 
ing institute, meeting twice a week, with volunteer adults 
training high school students in arts and crafts, group games, 
and techniques of organizing and supervising groups of small 

At this time, we had also initiated an intramural sports 
program in the schools for greater participation than the "var- 
sity" sports permitted, and had expanded the Sportsmen's 

At last, with the backing of Parent-Teacher groups and 
other agencies, we looked forward to a real summer play- 
ground and recreation program in 1933. 

Our summer program was successful within its limitations, 

but when school opened again I still had the sense of failure. 
The school doors were still locked at 4 o'clock, shutting away 
those rooms, gymnasiums, shops, and other facilities from the 
public that needed them so greatly. 

By the summer of 1934, there was help from a new source 
the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, Works Prog- 
ress Administration, and National Youth Administration. 

In the summer of 1934, Flint had forty backyard play- 
grounds, twenty-four school playgrounds, and fifteen City 
Park and Recreation Department playgrounds in operation. 
Children took full and happy advantage of these playgrounds, 
and the accident figures for children dropped to half the 1933 
figure. Hundreds of Softball teams were organized. That 1934 
program demonstrated the greatness of Flint's need, and the 
good response people would make to such a program when 
given the opportunity. We planned an even bigger program 
for the summer of 1935. 

Such a demonstration was proof of the need for a year- 
around program, open to everyone, utilizing the school build- 
ings and facilities. I continued my speaking campaign, talking 
to every group that would listen to me. 

In June, 1935, 1 got myself invited to speak at the Rotary 
Club, along with the other luncheon clubs. By that time, it 
seemed to me that I had been running on a treadmill for eight 
years for all the progress I had made, ft seemed to me that 
the very people who could do something about Flint's prob- 
lems were exactly the ones who couldn't be made to see, to 
understand, to feel, and to act. I didn't know many members 
of the Rotary Club I spoke to that day, but to me they sym- 
bolized exactly the people I hadn't been able to reach. I am 
sure I was rude, and that my bitterness about the inaction of 
Flint's men of influence including the men in that room 
was more than evident. I ridiculed those men for sitting so 
comfortably and complacently in their club meetings, while 
all Flint's social ills continued unabated. Looking back, it 
seems clear that I could have made only a very bad impression 
but at least I did make an impression. 

One of the men who came up and talked with me a minute 
or two afterwards was C. S. Mott. I had never met him before. 


He said something about having a backyard playground of 
his own, and invited me to come over and see it 

Of course, I had heard many things about Mr. Mott 
some of them right, but most of them wrong. I had heard that 
he had a large fortune but that his Scotch qualities made it 
unlikely that he would spend any of it. I did not know what 
to expect, but thought that he would not be inviting me to 
come to see him if something in my talk had not impressed 
him to the point where he was considering doing something 
to help. 

I visited Mr. Mott's home, Applewood, then a sixty-four- 
acre farm-estate just four blocks from the center of Flint. 
When Mr. Mott found I liked tennis, we played a few games. 
Mr. Mott was sixty years old that June of 1935, but still a 
fierce competitor. He didn't mention my Rotary Club talk, 
but invited me back for more tennis. 

About the middle of August, when I was figuring that all 
I was going to get out of the summer was some exercise, I 
mentioned to Mr. Mott that I was going back to Herkimer, 
New York, for a couple weeks vacation before school started. 
We were taking a breather between games on the tennis court 
at the moment. 

Then, out of a clear sky, Mr. Mott lobbed this question 
across the tennis net: "What do you think of a boys' club here 
in Flint?" 

He caught me off guard, but I managed a return. I said, "I 
think the boys' clubs are wonderful; it's just too bad we can't 
open the forty boys' clubs we have here in Flint" 

He said, "What do you mean?" 

I pointed to Central High School, visible from Mr. Mott's 
tennis courts. "There's one," I said. "It's closed down at 4 
o'clock, when a boys' club should open. It's complete with 
two gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a cafeteria, shops every- 
thing you would want in a boys' club, along with what you'd 
want for girls' club, mothers' club, family club, a complete 
community center. Only we can't use it And that's just one. 
There are forty such schools in Flint one within half a mile 
of every man, woman, and child in town. They all stand idle 

after 4 o'clock every day, because the Board of Education 
has no money to keep them open." 

Mr. Mott heard me. After eight years, someone really 
heard what I was saying someone who could do something 
about it. "Well, how could we go about trying it?" he asked. 

I answered, "I suggest you put it up to the Board of Edu- 
cation. It won't be too difficult to work out a basis of starting 
such a plan in ten schools to begin with." 

Mr. Mott thought that five schools would be enough to 
handle for a beginning, and he was right. Before we quit the 
tennis court that mid-August day in 1935, we had agreed that 
Mr. Mott would put the idea up to the Board of Education. 

When he did so, the members of the board thought it was 
a wonderful idea. I learned another big lesson. There is al- 
ways a best person to present any idea usually the one who 
can do most toward making that idea into a fact. They could 
hear that idea from Mr. Mott, because they knew he had the 
means to translate it from a mere idea into a wonderful reality. 
I saw that it was much more important to get a good idea 
accepted than it was to get the credit for it and that's another 
lesson I have tried to remember ever since. 

It was agreed that Mr. Mott would furnish $6,000 for the 
school year, for supervision in those five schools, while the 
Board of Education would assume any additional cost of heat, 
light, and janitor service. That was the real beginning of the 
Charles Stewart Mott Fpundation Program of the Flint Board 
of Education as we know it today, the beginning of Flint's 
community school concept, the first step from which all the 
many subsequent developments of the Foundation were to 
proceed. It was, above all else, the moment when the needs of 
Flint's people began to assume paramount importance in com- 
munity thinking. 

I have realized since that the eight years spent trying to 
overcome obstacles before 1935 served many good purposes. 
We had not only tilled the soil, preparing for acceptance of 
the ideas; we had also, in our informal surveys, and through 
our contacts with so many groups throughout Flint, obtained 
a real sense of the community needs as the community itself 


expressed those needs. And, perhaps most important of all, 
we had developed a group of trained, capable, loyal, hard- 
working leaders people dedicated to the same concept of 
community ideals which had kept me trying against all ob- 
stacles through the years. Without the able, devoted services 
of those leaders, the subsequent accomplishments of the Mott 
Foundation would not have been possible. 

Thus, from the special view of Frank J. Manley, director 
of the Mott Foundation from those days in 1935, we have the 
story of how this tremendous program began utilizing funds 
set aside by Charles Stewart Mott and his family for the Foun- 
dation, following methods developed by Manley, and working 
toward the common ideal shared by Mott and Manley to give 
people a chance to improve their lives and to make Flint a bet- 
ter place to live for all its people. 

Manley's concern with using publicly owned facilities the 
schools as community centers for community activities, sug- 
gested the partnership with the Flint Board of Education. 
Mott had already worked out one such cooperative arrange- 
ment with the board in 1918, and late in 1935 he also agreed 
to contribute $6,000 to supplement the board's health program 
with the understanding that the board would not reduce the 
$24,000 budget already allotted as the maximum available. 
Mott had initiated this gift after finding that many boys selected 
by the schools to send to Mott Camp showed serious need of 
medical and dental care. 



It would have been simpler and easier to build an impressive 
boys' club building and set up an endowment than to operate 
the Mott Foundation actively and personally. But Mott has 
always given the same interest, imagination, and ability to the 
task of spending his money well that he devoted to earning it 
in the first place. With thousands of foundations in the United 
States more than two hundred of them in Michigan very 
few actually operate their own programs on a direct working 
basis. And no other foundation is known to work with and 
through a local board of education in the way the Mott Foun- 
dation has operated since 1935. 

A program for conserving, enriching, and improving human 
lives can be developed effectively with business methods, com- 
mon sense, the techniques of good administration, research and 
pilot-project experimentation, and sound organization to avoid 
waste. That is exactly what the Mott Foundation has done. The 
use of the forty existing school buildings in Flint for a program 
to improve the lives of the people who owned those buildings 
appealed to Mott's common sense and practical judgment He 
felt that he could do much more good with the Foundation's 
funds in this way get more human value for Flint people with 
the dollars spent. It would have been wasteful to him to dupli- 
cate already-existing buildings buildings which could be made 
available and admirably serve community recreation and edu- 
cation purposes. 

The board of education, in 1935 and after, has been most 
happy to have funds made available for good programs that 
lacked public funds. In effect, the board has sponsored most 
aspects of Mott Foundation activities, and it has requested 
Foundation funds to carry on programs for which there was a 


demonstrated community need In addition, the Foundation has 
carried out many projects with other community agencies. 

Mott has often described the function of the Foundation as, 
"greasing the wheels of already-existing machinery," and he 
has spoken of "not spending money for bricks and mortar to 
put up buildings" but "utilizing existing facilities and spending 
our funds for supervision and instruction to bring people the 
most good/* But these principles have not stopped the Founda- 
tion from meeting a demonstrated community need. If a new 
building has been shown to be necessary to carry out needed 
work, the new building has been constructed. 

When the board of education formally accepted Motfs con- 
tribution of $6,000 for supervision and equipment to be used 
in a recreation program to be conducted at five schools, the 
money was deposited to its account for disbursement only by 
the board's business manager, as authorized. In general, this 
same arrangement has prevailed ever since in administering the 
board of education-Mott Foundation activities. 

In this pilot project, five Flint schoolhouses were lighted up 
that fall of 1935. Public response was so overwhelming as to 
make Mauley glad they had not tried to begin with ten schools. 
Enrollment was about three times greater than Manley's most 
optimistic expectation. Manley was delighted but he needed 
more supervisors and teachers, and it was clear that the $6,000 
would not cover the whole year as expected. 

After Mott's return from Bermuda in December, 1935, 
Manley wanted to request additional funds which obviously 
would be needed for the program but he still felt unsure of 
Mott, and was afraid that Mott might not welcome such a 

Manley was rehearsing over and over again in his mind just 
what he would say to Mott to tell him that the program had 
succeeded so well that it was rapidly running out of money. 
Before he had worked up his presentation to a point of useful- 
ness, Mott called and asked Manley to come over. We return 
to Manley's notes for his account of that crucial interview. 

I picked up every scrapbook I had, and a complete record 
of every penny spent, and just what it had been spent for. 
Mr. Mott welcomed me into his living room (which I always 
think of as a shade smaller than a standard basketball court). 
I talked, and showed the multitude of clippings an amazing 
array of favorable publicity and commentary from the Flint 
Journal in particular. There were stories about the classes, 
stories about the leaders, stories and more stories about the 
crowds of people taking advantage of this new opportunity 
for recreation and education. I talked, and showed the figures 
exactly what we had spent, and what the money had brought 
us. I talked about how we could cut down delinquency and 
crime. I talked, and kept on talking, Mr. Mott listened, and 
twiddled a pencil. It seemed to me that I didn't dare stop talk- 
ing, because I had already made it evident that the money was 
not going to last out the year. And when I stopped talking 
about what we were doing, I would have to come to the point 
of asking for more money to continue or the whole program 
would have to be dropped. I never talked so hard in my life. 
Mr. Mott listened, and did not say anything. I realized after- 
wards that he would have had to interrupt me to say anything 
at all, because I was talking on a marathon basis. We were 
sitting at one end of that enormous living room. Maybe, in my 
talking, I had come to the point of repeating what I had said 
earlier; I am not sure. Anyway, Mr. Mott got up out of his 
chair and walked to the other end of the room and turned off 
a small lamp bulb burning there. I thought that perhaps this 
was his way of showing me that since he couldn't afford to 
leave the light bulb burning he certainly couldn't afford to 
contribute extra thousands of dollars to the program I was 
describing. Prejudices imparted to me by others flooded over 
my mind once more; I felt hopeless and defeated. 

Mr. Mott sat down in his chair again. "What you have re- 
ported sounds very good," he said. "If you need any more 
money, speak up." 

For all my talking up to that point, I couldn't "speak up," 
although he had opened the door wide to just the request I 
had come to make. The shock was too great IBs words were 
so far from what I had expected him to say that it stopped 


me cold; I just couldn't shift gears that fast. It was like a 
perfect placement in tennis; he had made his point, and I 
was so far from being in position for it that I couldn't even 
wave my racquet at it. Somehow, I managed to answer, "I'll 
have to think it over figure out how much more we will 
need. I'll see you tomorrow or the next day, and we'll figure 
it out." 

I understood at last that hatred of waste on the one hand 
went right along with appreciation of value on the other 
with Mr. Mott. When he noticed an unnecessary light burn- 
ing, he turned it off. When he saw that our five-school ex- 
perimental program was proving successful far beyond our 
expectations in terms of human values, he was volunteering 
additional funds for it without my even asking. I realized 
that this was the turning point for the program the moment 
of its transition from an experimental pilot project into a 
going, growing, established concern. 

Still somewhat in a daze from the unexpected turn of 
events, I went out of Mr. Mott's great house and climbed 
in my five-year-old second-hand Chevrolet. I know the motor 
was not hitting very smoothly, yet I rode home on a cloud 
as happy as a young man could possibly be. I knew that 
Mr. Mott really understood, appreciated, and believed in the 
program and would back it to whatever extent necessary 
to produce the good human results we were both concerned 
to achieve. When I got home and went in the house every 
light was on, and my wife and the children were in bed 
asleep. I thought, "There's the difference between the Motts 
and the Manleys the haves and the have-nots. We will 
probably never learn to conserve the pennies and make dol- 
lars out of them but at least we can share the human ideal 
of helping to illuminate the lives of others, and make our 
own contribution to carrying out the ideal in reality." 

In the course of the next few days, Manley worked out a 
plan for continuing the program through the remainder of the 
school year and through the summer, and Mott provided the 
additional funds necessary. From that day on, the Mott Foun- 
dation program has expanded every year to a current budget of 
$1.5 million. 


Manley and others had made the most of funds available 
through the Emergency Relief, Works Progress Administration, 
and National Youth Administration, to restore opportunity to 
Flint. But it was the opening of the school doors the inaugu- 
ration of a plan not limited by the restrictions hemming in 
Governmental agencies that gave Flint a real open door to 
opportunity again. 

While the beginning of the plan had been keyed to establish- 
ing boys' clubs in the schools, there were requests for similar 
activities for girls and adults. The people themselves were 
moving toward the community-school concept naturally and 
spontaneously. The program was diversified and expanded to 
meet the demonstrated interest and need. 

The leaders originally one man and one woman at each 
of the five schools were given an intensive special training 
course covering the philosophy of the program, organization of 
clubs, athletics, dramatics, games, library facilities, story tell- 
ing, psychology of handling various age groups, and the 
relationship of the program to the problems of juvenile delin- 
quency. Experts in these special fields were called in to give 
concentrated instruction to the leaders. 

A Flint Journal story, covering the new program in detail, 

There will be no standardized type of program. Each com- 
munity center will establish the programs desired by the 
individual groups, so that every boy and girl in the city 
will be given an opportunity to enjoy a wholesome type of 
recreation. There will be no fee of any kind, and all the 
boys and girls in Flint are invited to enroll at their own 
community centers. The project will be carried on from 
6:30 to 9:30 o'clock every night excepting Saturday. It is 
planned to utilize the entire day each Saturday for programs 
more comprehensive than can be carried out during the 
three-hour periods each night. 

To finance the huge recreational program, the Mott Foun- 
dation has provided $6,000 for the season, of which $5,000 
will be required for the full time services of the community 


center leaders; $500 for athletic and miscellaneous equip- 
ment, and $500 for medals and expenses for a proposed de- 

Frank Manley, physical and recreational director of the 
Flint public schools, is the active manager of the project. 

The general committee in charge includes Circuit Judge 
James S. Parker, president; Probate Judge Frank McAvin- 
chey, treasurer; Frank Farry, Boy Scout leader, secretary; 
Leland H. Lamb, superintendent of schools; Dr. A. J. Wil- 
danger, Dr. Henry Cook, Dr. Lafon Jones, Floyd Adams, 
C. S. Mott, Roy E. Brownell, and Mr. Manley. 

The article continued with the names of the leaders for each 
of the five schools, and emphasis on the point that each com- 
munity would choose its own types of recreational activities, 
in terms of the interests and needs of the people attending. The 
story continued: 

The types of activities to be conducted in the community 
centers include: 


Gymnastics, basketball, indoor baseball, volley ball, indoor 
track, wrestling, boxing, swimming, skating, and hockey. 


Checkers, dominoes, cards, modern and old-time dancing, 
game nights, social mixers, parties, and picnics. 

Chorus, community singing, orchestra, band. 

Pantomime, minstrels, plays, stunt clubs. 

Community Nights 

Speakers, movies, lantern slides, home talent nights, con- 

Class Rooms 

Sketch club, art classes, sewing groups, hobby clubs, air- 
plane dubs. 

The efforts of the community center leaders and super- 

visors will be supplemented by the services of those who can 
help with various projects, such as dramatics, handicraft, 
and marionette shows. 

Orchestras will be available for dancing; pianists will be 
provided for tap dancing classes; musical directors will be 
available to teach glee club and other choral work, and 
others whose talents will assist the general program will con- 
tribute their share. 

With such a list of possibilities to start from, it is no wonder 
that opportunity-hungry Flint responded. Even before the first 
evening of actual operation of the five centers, preliminary 
meetings with coordinating committees representing each 
school and surrounding neighborhood had already required 
rearrangement and enlargement of tentative plans. The first 
regular evening schedule included gymnasium classes for ele- 
mentary boys, junior high boys, senior high boys, young men, 
and married men; girls' tumbling; mothers' knitting class; 
dramatics; boxing; wrestling; ping-pong; girls' handicrafts; 
general games; story telling; knitting and sewing for girls ten to 
eighteen. On the second evening, junior and senior basketball 
leagues were organized, and several other activities were initi- 
ated, including a married women's gymnasium class, a fathers' 
club, and a women's chorus. (It might be noted that the number 
and variety of activities presented through the Mott Foundation 
has been expanding ever since.) 

The five schools chosen for the recreational program 
Martin, Lowell, McKinley, Zimmerman, and Homedale in- 
cluded in their areas some of Flint's highest-juvenile-delin- 
quency sections. The idea that the recreational and athletic 
program substituting wholesome for unwholesome activities 
was the answer to juvenile delinquency was very much in 
the minds of those backing the endeavor. A distinguished 
visitor in November, 1935, had the same idea. 

Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Flint and reported her 
findings in her syndicated column appearing in many papers 
throughout the country. Her comments included these: 


They have done a remarkable job of co-ordinating in Flint. 
Their community plan co-ordinates all the various commu- 
nity forces industrial, social, philanthropic, recreational, and 
educational. So it seems natural that the Youth Administra- 
tion, and the WPA, and all other government agencies have 
done a co-operative job here with the city. The outstanding 
factor in their programs is the use of schools. Instead of 
closing them at 4 o'clock, they remain open and become 
community centers. Classes of every description go on just 
as they do all day and recreational programs are carried out. 
They are trying to provide out-of-door recreation for every 
child in the city. They showed me a park that had been made 
from a dump. A public-spirited citizen had contributed some 
very good tennis courts which are going to be sprayed and 
used as a skating rink this winter. Someone else has donated 
the money to put up a building where they will have showers, 
toilets, a game room, and a stage where they can rehearse 
their plays. There is to be an outdoor theatre in the park 
next summer and some stone fireplaces are to be built for 
picnics. Another public-spirited citizen has paid the teachers 
who stay overtime to teach in the schools. Last summer 
everyone who had a backyard vacant lot or field which could 
be used as a playground, was asked to fix it up and open it 
for the neighborhood children. The result is that the Boy 
Scouts and Girl Scouts are putting a course of training as 
leaders in these playgrounds into their program this year. 
The city has become so much interested and recognizes so 
well the value of this entire program that it would probably 
go on without any Federal aid. What the community is spend- 
ing in prevention of crime will probably be amply covered 
by the reduction in young gangsters and hoodlums who man- 
age to destroy a good deal of property. 

A full page of pictures of Mott recreation activities in the 
December 22, 1935, Flint Journal showed a boys' harmonica 
group, archery in the game room, a girls' gymnasium class, a 
beauty-culture class, a tap-dancing class, a girls' basketball 
game, boys in a woodworking class, younger children playing 

games, and young women knitting. Publicity of this kind made 
its own real contribution to swelling the attendance. 

Although there had been some woodworking activities in the 
first months of the program, it was not until February, 1936, 
that regular industrial-arts courses assumed major importance 
with the contribution of salvage materials from Flint indus- 
tries, and instruction from regular teachers in the school work- 
shops. Before the winter program was over, it required almost 
a full newspaper column each day to list that evening's activities 
at the five schools. 

During the last week of the evening schedules for that first 
year, the Flint Journal noted: 

The greatest recreational program ever provided for the 
youth of Flint will bring its winter schedule to a close this 
week after having served more than 120,000 young people. 

Designed to provide wholesome recreation adapted to the 
needs of every section of the city, the winter program of the 
Charles Stewart Mott recreation project will conclude Fri- 
day night after having recorded a community achievement 
without parallel in the nation. 

Utilizing school buildings as community centers, the Mott 
project has proved successful far beyond the original hopes 
of its sponsors. 

Figures compiled today show that the project has served 
120,032 young people with an average attendance each week 
of 5,456. Of this total, 76,516 were boys and 43,516 girls. 
The average weekly attendance of boys was 3,478 and that 
of girls was 1,978. In addition to these totals, thousands 
of adult spectators were cared for. 

This does not include the closing event of the city-wide 
program which will culminate in a decathlon and pentathlon 
at Dort Field on May 23, with nearly 12,000 boys and gkls 
competing for bronze medals and honor ribbons 

Not only has the project reduced juvenile delinquency, 
but it has also been a material factor in carrying on the 
child safety program, which, combined with the back yard 


playground movement, has given Flint the enviable record 
of not having had a child killed by traffic while playing in 
the streets for more than one year. . . . 

The article concluded: 

One of the cardinal factors in the success of the Mott pro- 
gram is recognition of Jefferson's philosophy that the schools 
are built for all the people. The project takes advantage of 
facilities that have been available for years, but which the 
average community always has neglected. 

It is based on the fact that school buildings stand idle the 
greater part of the time and that these buildings can be 
made into community centers where the wholesome recrea- 
tional activities are provided for otherwise idle hands. . . . 

Thus one of the continuing objectives of the Mott Founda- 
tion was recognized in the first year of operation: serving as 
an exemplar pilot project for other communities. The commu- 
nity-school concept emerged clearly as did the Foundation's 
unique partnership with the board of education. Also evident 
from the nature of the program was the emphasis on oppor- 
tunity. Another principle demonstrated in the first year, and 
followed consistently ever since, is adapting the program to 
specific needs of the people themselves. No cut-and-dried 
program was handed to the people; each section of the com- 
munity determined its own activities by its declared interests 
and needs. The use of qualified personnel chiefly teachers 
for instruction, leadership, and training in their own fields was 
also evident in the first year's operations. Above all, the genuine 
American democracy of the program was made clear: the true 
respect for people as individuals with abilities, needs, and 
capacity for growth and development when opportunity exists. 
The Mott Foundation program is a demonstration of democ- 
racy, recognizing that real equality is not a matter of hereditary 
endowments, but of opportunity for each person to develop his 
own highest possibilities. 



A great happiness came to the Motts with the birth of their 
daughter, Susan Elizabeth, at El Paso, Texas, on February 13, 
1936. Mrs. Mott's father, Dr. Junius A. Rawlings, attended at 
the delivery of his granddaughter. Only weeks later, tragedy 
shadowed the new happiness of the family with the illness and 
death of Dr. Rawlings. Mott noted in his diary for March 25, 
1936 (the day of the funeral of Dr. Rawlings) : 

Regarding Dr. Junius Rawlings' place in the hearts of the 
people of El Paso, I am sure that no other man in the city 
was regarded with so much love and affection as he. ... He 
was the most kindly man I have ever known, thought no 
evfl of anyone. ... He spent endless time working for the 
poor and needy without financial remuneration and without 
regard to hours or care of himself His was a life of self- 
sacrifice He will be terribly missed by his family, his 

friends, and his beneficiaries, but as an example of a fine 
life he made a record that his family may justly be proud of. 

Back in Flint by early June, Mott spent a good part of his 
days at his office in the General Motors building in Detroit. 
The man who had invited Mott to Flint in 1905, W. C. Durant, 
had come to one of the bitter valleys of his incredible career. 
His Durant Motors had abandoned Flint operations in 1926, 
and then transferred to New Jersey, but by 1928 it had fallen 
by the wayside. Durant himself had tried other ventures, but 
the Midas touch appeared to have been lost. In 1936, pressure 
from creditors forced him to file a voluntary petition in bank- 
ruptcy. He listed almost a million dollars in debts, and had only 
his clothes, valued at $250, to offer as assets. 

A small group of men long associated with Durant quietly 
contributed a sum of money for the fallen giant of the auto- 


mobile industry. Those men, whom Durant called his real 
friends, included Mott, Chrysler, Sloan, R. S. McLaughlin, 
A. G. Bishop, and Dr. Campbell (Durant's son-in-law) . Durant 
was most grateful for this help in a cruel hour; he wrote his 
thanks to Mott, and mentioned that he proposed to dedicate 
his memoirs to these real friends. Unhappily his autobiography 
was not completed at the time of his death, and the full story of 
this "larger-than-life" figure in American industry and finance 
has never been made public. 

The "real friends" of Durant who contributed the fund for 

him at the time of his bankruptcy were well aware that 

despite differences most of them had had with Durant at one 
time or another he was the Titan, the Founder of the Feast, 
the opportunity-maker. As long as boldness, daring imagi- 
nation, dramatic action, and infinite enterprise were required 
to shape an empire out of a vision, Durant was the indispen- 
sable man. But when caution, retrenchment, and conservation 
were essential, Durant was out of his element. Looking back, 
it is easy to wonder why he did not keep just one of those 90 
minions of his personal fortune he poured into the market in 
1920 to support the falling price of General Motors stock. 
The same character qualities which had led him to accumulate 
that fortune prevented him from salvaging any substantial 
portion of it. Fortunately for the Titan, some of the Olympians 
remembered and honored him. Mott has always made it a 
point to credit Durant for the greatness of his founding con- 
tribution and the gigantic momentum he imparted to General 
Motors in the early years. To those who know and appreciate 
the unique qualities of Durant, nothing in the failures of his 
later years can take away from the amazing roster of his 
successful accomplishments. 

The depression was still the depression and Flint had many 
more bitter days ahead, particularly during the sit-down strikes 
of the first weeks of 1937. Social, economic, and political 
forces of more than local magnitude came to grips in that 
long-closed chapter of Flint's history. On February 11, 1937, 

an agreement ended the strikes and mutual understanding 
and constructive working together have been typical of the 
years since. Throughout the strikes, Mott Foundation pro- 
grams continued uninterrupted, except that some activities re- 
quiring use of the gymnasiums in some schools had to be 
suspended for a short time because the gymnasiums were 
utilized temporarily as quarters for the National Guard. 

Just as it is the mutual conviction of Mott and Manley that 
only people are important, the Foundation itself demonstrated 
repeatedly that the most essential building block in a com- 
munity program is leadership by people who care about people. 
Given a nucleus of such leaders, all else may follow. Without 
such leadership, the individual and community objectives seem 
at an impossible distance. Manley, in his years of trial and 
error, had found among his school associates a small but 
effective group that shared his vision and had the background, 
experience, and skills to build that vision into a practical 

To understand the response to the Foundation's program, it 
is both necessary and appropriate to note some of those leaders 
who put the program into practice. Outstanding among these 
are Myrtle Black, Alton R. Patterson, Harold D. Bacon, and 
William F. Minardo. 

It is impossible to measure the special contribution of Mrs. 
Black to the total development of the Foundation program 
not only in her special field, adult education, but in her relation- 
ship to the evolution of the total concept, and in her intensely 
loyal assistance to Manley whenever and wherever required. 

Graduated from the University of Chicago in 1922 with the 
degree Ph.B., she received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the 
University of Michigan, in 1942 and 1952 respectively 
thereby exemplifying the value of adult education in her own 
life. Wife of a Presbyterian minister, Mrs. Black had exception- 
ally heavy financial responsibilities to her invalid mother, and 
had taught school for four years while the family lived at 
Kinde, Mich. Coming to Flint, Mrs. Black was unable to 


secure employment in teaching other than as a substitute be- 
cause of a depression ruling against hiring married teachers. 

In 1933, the F.E.R.A. announced possible part-time work 
for unemployed teachers, and Mrs. Black along with hundreds 
of other Flint-area teachers-without-a-school went to see about 
it Frank Manley, Phil Vercoe, and John Wellwood of the 
Flint public schools had been delegated to handle the appli- 
cants under this special program. When Mrs. Black arrived, 
she found Manley, Vercoe, and Wellwood inundated with 
crowds of applicants. She volunteered as a secretary-helper to 
assist in registering applicants, and Manley lured her then and 
there. Mrs. Black worked for one agency after another, but 
since Manley remained in charge of liaison between the public 
schools and the Federal agencies, she was always working with 
him to some extent. Thus it can be said that she, like Manley, 
was already in motion with the objectives of the Foundation 
even before Mott and Manley had instituted the formal pro- 
gram in the fall of 1935. Since that time, it would be difficult to 
say whether Mrs. Black has grown more with the Foundation, 
or the Foundation has grown more with Mrs. Black. She is now 
well-known in adult education circles throughout the United 
States for her work through the Foundation. 

Alton R. Patterson had been Manley's best friend and room- 
mate at college, and they had come to Flint together after 
graduation from Michigan State Normal in 1927 each to his 
first job as a physical education instructor. Patterson shared 
Manley's belief in the social value of sound recreation, and 
worked closely with Manley in the formative days of the Mott 
Foundation as supervisor of recreational activities in the 
schools in the north part of Flint. Later he widened his activ- 
ities and became assistant director of the Mott Foundation 
program as well as director of pupil personnel, attendance, and 
child accounting for the schools. Loyal, intelligent, and pur- 
poseful, Patterson made an important contribution to the 
development of the Foundation program and his death in 
1951 was a serious loss to the leadership. 

Gunners Mate 1st Class 

In 1902: C. S. Mott drives his first car, a 1901 Remington 

(Bottom) View of downtown Flint in 1905 

(Top right) Officers and supervisors of Weston-Mott Company pose with 
C. S. Mott (front row, fourth from left) after move to Flint in 1907 
(Bottom right) C. S. Mott at the wheel of his third car-a 1907 Stevens 
Duryea, made in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. With him in the front 
seat is Mrs. Mott, In the back seat are his mother, Mrs. John Coon Mott 
and Hubert Dalton 

Weston Mott Offices, on left, beside the Buick plant at the corner of In- 
dustrial and Hamilton Avenues, 1910 

c r w v riCa>S automobile indus *y : Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., 
C. a Mott, C. W. Nash, and H. H. Bassett, at Nash's Kenosha (Wis.) plani 

(Left) "Desert Dick"-C. S. Mott in Arizona, 1932 (Right) With wife 
and children on his seventy-fifth birthday on June 2, 1950: (top) Mr. and 
Mrs. C. S. Mott, (middle) Harding Mott, Elsa Mott (Mrs. Kenneth Ives), 
Aimee Mott (Mrs. Patrick Butler), (bottom) Stuart Mott, Maryanne Mott, 
Susan Mott (Mrs. Sherill Dansby) 

President Eisenhower congratulates Mr. Mott on receiving the 1954 Big 
Brother of the Year Award 

(Above) In 1958, laying the cornerstone of the Charles Stewart Mott 
Building of the University of Chicago: (front) Chancellor Lawrence 
Kimpton, C. S. Mott, Dr. Robert Burns, (back) Mrs. C. S. Mott, Harding 
Mott, Aimee Mott Butler, trustees of the Mott Foundation 

(Top right) At dedication in 1957 of the Mott Memorial Building for use 
by the Flint College of the University of Michigan: Dr. Alexander 
Ruthven, President Emeritus; Dr. Harlan H. Hatcher, President; Dr. 
David French, Dean of Flint College; C. S. Mott; Walter E. Scott, Presi- 
dent, Flint Board of Education 

(Right) The foundation of the Foundation 

Frank J. Manley, Director, Mott Foundation 

Harold D. Bacon is another of the original little group of 
exceptional leaders with both the heart and the skill to make 
the original Mott Foundation idea work out in fact. A graduate 
of Western State Teachers College (now Western Michigan 
University), Bacon had come to Flint as a physical education 
instructor in 1928, and his qualifications were admirably 
adapted to the needs of the Foundation plan. In 1934, he 
became assistant supervisor of physical education for the 
schools and later was made supervisor. He first directed the 
Foundation recreational activities in the west part of Flint, 
and later became supervisor of recreation for the Foundation. 
He has earned a national reputation as a caller of square 
dances, and has woven a wide range of activities into a recre- 
ation program of impressive versatility. 

William F. Minardo is the fourth of that original group of 
closest associates of Manley. Having graduated from Notre 
Dame in 1932 with a B.S. in physical education, Minardo 
became a physical education instructor in the Flint schools in 
1934. With the inception of the Mott program in 1935, he 
became supervisor of recreational activities in schools on the 
east side of Flint. Above all, Minardo brought unflagging 
enthusiasm and wholehearted good feeling toward people to 
the program which made him the ideal man to become the 
first community-school services director in 1951. With part- 
time helpers, Minardo also assumed responsibility for directing 
community services at other community schools. In more recent 
years, he has been acting as consultant and general problem- 
solver for the directors of community services in all Flint 
schools. In 1957, he received his M.A. in Community Educa- 
tion at Michigan State Normal, Ypsilanti. Endless energy, 
warmth of heart, and genuine concern for people are among 
Minardo's exceptional contributions to the development of the 

There have been hundreds of others in the course of twenty- 
seven years, many of whom have enhanced the Foundation 
program with abiding enthusiasm and special abilities, but 


these four were among the very first and three of them are 
still devoting their skills and energies to carrying on the Foun- 
dation's work. 

The national publicity received by the program in 1936 
included an article in the New York Times, a Christian Science 
Monitor story with pictures, and stories in Newsweek, The 
Commonweal, and many large newspapers. The Flint Journal, 
by the end of 1936, had distributed some eight hundred copies 
of its booklet, "The Flint Plan of Recreation," in response to 
inquiries from other communities. 

The fall, 1936, recreation program, opened in fifteen schools 
and drew wider and more enthusiastic participation than the 
previous year's; over 4,000 people enrolled the very first eve- 
ning. An important development was a group of shop classes in 
both wood- and metalwork, supervised by Harry Burnham, in 
which fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, could learn 
manual skills, use of tools, and methods of making and repair- 
ing many household items. Constant addition of new types of 
classes, as interest in different fields developed, kept bringing 
more and more variety to the program. 

Beginning in January, 1937, the Mott Foundation held a 
series of public-forum meetings, with prominent speakers lead- 
ing discussions on topics of current interest. 

It was in 1937 that Mott ceased to be a vice-president of 
General Motors, although remaining a director. He retained his 
office in the General Motors building in Detroit, and continued 
to spend considerable time there. In May, 1937, the advance- 
ment of the man Mott had hired for General Motors fifteen 
years earlier, William S. Knudsen, to the presidency of the 
corporation, along with the election of Floyd Tanner, one of 
the many men who started with the Weston-Mott Company 
and continued their progress with General Motors, as a vice- 
president, caused Mott to write letters of congratulation to both 
these friends. Tanner had started with Weston-Mott Company 
over 25 years earlier as workman and had advanced steadily. 

College commencement in 1937 brought special honors to 

both Mott and Manley. The honorary degree, doctor of engi- 
neering, was conferred upon Mott by Stevens Institute of Tech- 
nology. At a dinner held by the trustees of Stevens, Mott was 
called upon for a brief talk. His diary entry includes these 

A number of years ago I used to go cruising with a couple 
of highbrow engineers and their wives, and when an auspi- 
cious moment arrived I would innocently ask whether or not 
the world was more civilized now than a hundred years ago. 
Apparently, this is a most controversial question, and it 
never failed to start a long and heated argument which usu- 
ally ended up with, "Well, what do you mean by civiliza- 
tion?" If the war in Spain, the conquest of Abyssinia, the 
Soviet government, the conditions in France, Germany, and 
Austria are to be considered it is a question. 

I live for four months each year in Bermuda, where, thank 
heaven, automobiles are not allowed on the public roads 
and transportation is principally by horse-drawn vehicles and 
bicycles. My wife is praying for a horse and buggy which 
seems "logical and according to the American Constitution" 
(at least one man said that) . At any rate we are much more 
primitive than here in the United States and perhaps more 
civilized in our relations with other people. 

Here in this country corporations and individuals are 
spending immense sums of money every year in research, 
the prosecution of which is one of the most interesting sub- 
jects that I know of, and the results produced change almost 
every condition in life tremendously beneficial in many ways 
but causing social problems no end. 

These problems will have to be solved and when they are 
solved with fairness to all, I think we may say that we have 
advanced in civilization. 

Michigan State Normal College conferred the honorary 
degree of master of education on Frank J. Manley, in recogni- 
tion of his outstanding work in physcial education and recre- 
ation. Newspaper reports of the award pointed out that it was 
rarely made, and that Manley was the first to receive it from 


Michigan State Normal (since renamed Eastern Michigan 
University). This recognition was particularly gratifying to 
Manley because he had taken so much of his inspiration from 
his instructors at the college. 

A diary entry of July 23, 1937, demonstrates both Mott's 
continued activity in General Motors and the interest he has 
always maintained in every type of new development whether 
in sciences, arts, or humanities. 

Back to office I 'phoned Kettering and found that he could 
see me so went over to the research laboratory and he ex- 
plained a lot of things that he and the laboratory are work- 
ing on. Regarding Diesels I saw a lot of new stuff on the 
drawing boards, and I saw some of the engines and blocks. 
He also showed me their very marvelous fuel injector. . . . 
I also saw new developments in automobile engines, chassis, 
spring construction, and bodies. I asked about fuel. Ket has 
for years wanted to develop and produce fuels with higher 

octane and anti-knocking qualities When Ket first started 

his experiments which resulted in Ethyl gasoline, the auto- 
mobile engine was up against the fact that there was no 
standardized fuel. Different oil companies produced gaso- 
line with tremendous variations of purity and anti-knocking 
qualities some very good and some very bad. The results 
of the perfection of tetra-ethyl lead and Ethyl gasoline has 
been standardized production of regular gasoline. 

Now, what Ket wants to do is to produce a fuel with a 
very much higher octane or anti-knock rating than Ethyl 
gasoline either by new and improved oil cracking proc- 
esses, or addition of tetra-ethyl lead or other ingredients. If 
that can be accomplished, a much higher compression engine 
can be used, with much higher efficiency and more miles 
per gallon. . . . 

Two days later, July 25, 1937, Mott's diary notes: "Mr. 
W. C. Durant 'phoned me and came up and spent an hour, 
telling me what he is busy with at present. He has gone into the 
oil business, especially in Louisiana, and is spending a lot of 
time down there. I expect he is 72 years old, but seems to be 

as healthy and lively as ever. He is well-steeped in the oil prop- 
osition. ... I will say that he did not try to sell me any- 
thing. . . ." 

An August 15, 1937, Flint Journal article headed, "Flint 
Plan of Recreation Becomes a National Affair," emphasized 
the rising interest of other communities in finding out what 
Flint was doing. Three thousand copies of the booklet, "The 
Flint Plan of Recreation," had already been sent by the Journal 
in response to inquiries originating in forty states and four 
foreign countries and 500 more requests had come in since 
the last printing of the booklet was exhausted. Throughout 
these beginning years of Foundation activities, the consistent 
friendliness and helpfulness of the Flint Journal in publicizing 
Foundation activities with both stories and pictures from 
marble-shooting, Golden Gloves boxing, safety playgrounds, 
and softball leagues, to classroom activities, public forums, 
musical programs, and a host of other events were important 
factors in keeping the Flint-area public informed about op- 
portunities offered. 



In September, 1937, the Mott Foundation increased its con- 
tribution to the next season's recreation program to $31,400, 
more than 50 per cent over the previous year's funds. With 
fifteen schools open throughout the 1936-1937 season, 12,641 
persons had enrolled in a wide variety of activities. The 1937 
summer program had seen more than 3,000 back-yard safety 
playgrounds in operation with over a million child-days of 
attendance at these playgrounds during the summer. 

Five schools had been opened for the recreation program in 
1935; fifteen schools had participated in 1936; twenty-two 
schools were opened in 1937. A twenty-five-week winter pro- 
gram was planned, to extend from November to the next May. 
It was still viewed as a recreation program, but the adult educa- 
tion aspect was beginning to emerge increasingly, as the desires 
and needs of mothers and fathers were made evident. The 
announced schedule of activities offered included: airplane 
clubs, art, band, basketball, beauty culture, boxing, citizenship, 
common branches of education, cooking, dramatics, English, 
fencing, game rooms, gymnasium, handicraft, harmonica, 
hobby clubs, home nursing, knitting, library, history, nature 
study, orchestra, ping-pong, puppets, sewing, shops, shower 
clubs, singing, social dancing, stamp clubs, tap dancing, fly 
tying, bait casting, commercial law, pottery, funny-paper room, 
stoic clubs, newspaper work, public forum, toe dancing, ballet 
dancing, court procedure, archery, and badminton. This list 
was expanded as other interests and needs were expressed by 
those attending. About four newspaper columns were required 
to list a week's scheduled activities at the schools; the lighted 
schoolhouse was very much a going concern in Flint 

On December 4, 1937, a son, Stewart Rawlings, was born to 

the Motts "a fine, well-formed boy, weighing ten pounds,'* 
as Mott notes in his dairy for the day. 

A new Mott-Foundation-backed plan to improve child 
health in Flint was announced late in 1937. Called the Mott 
Health Achievement Program, it was designed to interest both 
children and parents in the correction of physical defects and 
control of communicable diseases. The school health depart- 
ment, with Dr. James A. Olson as director, had worked out 
the plan with the city health department, headed by Dr. 
George Hays. 

Dr. Olson stated the objective of the program as an endeavor 
"to eradicate the physical defects that now exist in school 
children, and that are handicapping these children in their 
learning abilities and social relationships/' and to impress upon 
parents, children, and teachers the fact that, "the child's health, 
more than any other factor, determines his regularity of at- 
tendance, his behavior and his ability to cope successfully with 
problems with which he is confronted." 

During the first months of the program, some 20,000 chil- 
dren in 28 public and 4 parochial schools participated. Physical 
examinations were given to the children, only 5 per cent of 
whom were found to be free of any defect worthy of attention. 
The others averaged three defects each a total of more than 
60,000 correctable health defects among the children ex- 
amined. Parents were urged to have family physician and 
dentist correct the defects, and by April, 1938, 20,000 such 
corrections had been made. The children who passed the phy- 
sical examination at the end of the year's program received 
"Flint Health-Guarded Child" awards from the Mott Foun- 
dation each in the form of a medal with the child's name 
inscribed on it. 

In the summer of 1938, the Mott Foundation assisted in a 
basic reorganization of Flint's health services. This involved a 
consolidation of the school and city health departments into a 
community health service program. Methods of conducting the 
Mott Health Achievement Program were altered, but the ob- 


jectives remained the same, and nursing service in community 
health education was intensified. 

There was also a decided shift of emphasis within the Foun- 
dation program toward enlarged opportunities in adult-educa- 
tion classes. A correspondence-school program was developed 
in association with the extension service of the University of 
Michigan, offering both high school and college subjects for 
credit so that those whose education had been interrupted 
could resume it and work toward diplomas and degrees. Four 
centers were established for these courses, in addition to the 
wide range of other classes in adult education offered by the 
Foundation. The only charge to the student for the corre- 
spondence courses was $1 per subject per semester for the cost 
of materials and mailing the lesson units. 

Still another major change in the Foundation program in 
1938 had to do with the employment of six visiting teachers. 
The background of this new Foundation activity dramatizes 
the underlying pattern of the evolution of the whole program. 
It has been sketched by Manley in these words: 

When I first told Mr. Mott we could reduce delinquency 
and develop a strong program that would prevent crime, 
nobody in the world believed it more than I did. My only 
thought was that if we could give everybody a chance to 
have as I had had an opportunity to participate in ath- 
letics, that was all there was to it. Sadly, this proved to be 
simply not true. We opened up the schools, the gymnasiums, 
the shops; we provided recreation of many types, under fine 
leadership; we had worlds of participation. The buildings 
were jammed with people taking part in increasing varieties 
of activities. 

But the sad fact was that we had as many juvenile delin- 
quents as ever. We could have cheated the facts by a little 
wishful juggling of statistics because there happened to be 
a change in handling juvenile cases in Hint at that time, 
and many more were put on probation instead of being 
sentenced to institutions. What we considered to be a wise 
and humane policy on the part of Judge John Baker resulted 
in only one-third as many sentences to State Training Schools 

as in the past. It was almost too much of a temptation for 
us to claim reduction of juvenile crime by two-thirds with 
this circumstance to back us up. But we decided we did not 
want to fool either ourselves or the public. The actual num- 
ber of cases coming to the courts, and the relative magnitude 
of the charges, did not seem to have been materially altered 

After gathering the facts, I was so astounded that the pro- 
gram wasn't having more tangible effect that I decided we 
must find out the underlying causes. As a result, we insti- 
tuted the visiting-teacher program. We wanted them to find 
out, above all else, what made kids act the way they did. 
Here, at last, after a drought of recreational opportunity, 
young people had a highly varied choice of recreational and 
educational activities available, under enjoyable circum- 
stances, with the best of friendly leadership. Young people 
participated in even greater numbers than we had dared to 
hope yet juvenile delinquency went on apparently unabated. 
We had to know why this was so. The visiting teachers were 
to find out, so that we could direct the program to solve the 
big problem with which we had started. 

While we didn't realize it at the time, all the future devel- 
opments of the Foundation, and the many-sided attacks we 
were to mount against the factors preventing socially sound 
life for boys and girls, were to be based on the findings of 
those six ladies who were going into the homes of Flint's 

Thus, the six visiting teachers began, in the fall of 1938, to 
work with teachers, nurses, attendance officers, and social- 
service centers to get at the problems of children who appeared 
to be under exceptional stresses. The visiting teachers also 
designated as home counselors were given training and as- 
signed to districts. They had various types of social-service- 
work backgrounds. 

It was announced to school staffs that, "Whenever home or 
family problems, either directly or indirectly, seriously affect 
the behavior of school children, the visiting teacher may be 
called in to assist the school in adjusting the case with the co- 
operation, if necessary, of such other agencies as are interested 
and active in these problems." 

The Mott Foundation had been aware that a child with one 
or more health problems does not have an equal opportunity; 
from 1935, a health program had been developed, intensified 
by the health-achievement approach in 1937. From the work 
of the visiting teachers, it became evident that home patterns 
were firmly imposed upon children so that to help the child 
get his equal chance, it was necesary to help the parents and 
the home reach a sound level. In this way, adult education may 
be seen as a definite approach to one aspect of juvenile delin- 
quency. Similarly, the many other fields in which the Mott 
Foundation has worked to meet demonstrated community 
needs are related to the original central problem. 

Still another 1938 development was the initiation of the 
Stepping Stone Program for girls. The plan is basically an 
educational endeavor cultivating attitudes and attributes con- 
ducive to development of personal charm, self-improvement, 
and moral responsibility for the individual, and orderliness and 
harmony for the home. It is a practical training program in 
personality and character building, involving specific skill, 
knowledge, and pride in planning and maintaining a fine home 
from meal preparation, sewing, maintaining health, to 
gracious human relationships. A pilot Stepping Stone Club in 
1938 showed the very great need for such a program, and a 
very real value to be achieved. A little history of the Stepping 
Stone Clubs by Mrs. Milton Pollock, director of the Stepping 
Stone Program from its inception, begins: "The idea for organ- 
izing Stepping Stone Clubs for girls was born of a consciousness 
that every girl has a hope and a desire to make something fine 
of her life, and needs only an inspiration and a design for 
living to help her make a reality of her dreams." 

By 1942, twenty-three Stepping Stone Clubs of eighteen 
members each had been organized in the Flint schools, with 
members from fifth grade through senior high school. In 1943, 
Michael Hamady of Flint gave a large home and fifteen-acre 
estate to the Mott Foundation for use in carrying out a training 
program in home and family living for the Stepping Stone girls. 

To develop this training program, a house mother, a home 
economist, activities supervisor, cook, and caretaker were en- 
gaged under supervision of the director and a year-around 
program is conducted dedicated to the ideals of individual 
development centered in the concept that a fine home is the 
matrix of good life. In 1962, more than 600 girls were mem- 
bers of the 3 1 Stepping Stone Clubs the age range being ten to 
eighteen years. The clubs meet once a week after class hours 
at school, and spend a two-week period each year in residence 
at Hamady House for special concentrated training in the 
most fundamental of human arts, getting along with people, 
particularly at home. 

In June, 1939, the Mott Foundation aimed toward establish- 
ment of a clinic in which physical defects could be corrected. 
The plan received the approval of the medical and dental 
societies during the summer, and Hurley Hospital offered 
space and facilities on a reasonable basis. As these arrange- 
ments were being made, Mott also became concerned about the 
problems of treatment of crippled children. The Flint Rotary 
Club had been active in this field, devoting about $4,000 a year 
to investigation of the needs of crippled children in Genesee 
County, transporting the children who needed care to Univer- 
sity Hospital, Ann Arbor, and otherwise facilitating treatment 
for children most urgently in need of it. The state appropriation 
to pay for such care was reduced by half at this time, and the 
Rotary Club felt hopeless about getting the whole job done with 
only 50 per cent of the usual funds from the state for medical 

There were special problems which made it impossible to do 
the work required for Genesee County children in Flint and 
Mott began attempting to find a solution to these problems. 
After many meetings with members of the State Crippled 
Children's Commission, the Governor, University of Michigan 
officials, and others, Mott was able to note in his diary a plan 
by which care for crippled children could be provided in Flint 
at much less cost than had been involved in taking each child 


to Ann Arbor, with the Foundation contributing up to $ 1 3,500 
toward care and treatment for one year and thus compensating 
for the reduced state appropriation. 

September 26, 1939, a civic appreciation dinner produced 
a remarkable group of tributes to Mott and his accomplish- 
ments. The dinner was held at the Durant Hotel, and was 
sponsored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Flint, with 
more than 550 attending. Mayor Harry M. Commins, speaking 
for the community, began the tributes in generous terms, saying 
that Flint was "glad and proud" to name Mott "as her first 
citizen." Flint's superintendent of schools, Leland H. Lamb, 
expressed special gratitude for Mott's "personal touch" 
throughout the Foundation's activities. William S. Knudsen, 
president of General Motors, spoke of Mott as a friend, noting 
his helpfulness both as a business asociate and as an inspiration 
in his personal life. Arthur H. Sarvis, president of Flint's park 
and recreation board, said of Mott, "His philosophy is to con- 
serve human values." Harlow H. Curtice, president of Buick, 
called Mott's services "so great it is impossible for anyone to 
measure them." F. A. Bower, president of Flint's community 
fund, said of Mott, "He has had a very vital part to play in 
every agency in our association." The president of the Flint 
Junior Chamber of Commerce, E. D. Potter, presented a scroll 
recognizing Mott for "enriching the lives and broadening the 
opportunities of thousands of our youth." 

In responding to the tribute, Mott expressed his gratitude for 
the dinner and the kind words, explaining some of the rewards 
he found in the activities of the Foundation: 

An avocation has become larger than a vocation for me* 
Probably I have more fun than the people do. . . . This event 

is going to spur me on to try to merit new confidence . 

This is an opportunity to get something off my chest I've 
wanted to say for a long time. This work that has been at- 
tributed to me is something I have participated in in only 
a small measure compared with others. A lot of it was 
chance and good luck. Frank Manley was playing tennis 
with me and we got to talking about boys' work in Detroit 

and I told Frank I was interested we discussed a plan 

for using school buildings. The board of education was quite 
skeptical, but willing to try it out 

I miss my guess if the people in this room have any idea 
of how good the board of education is. Without their co- 
operation, this program would never have got to first base. 

Regarding Frank Manley, I think we could hunt all over 
the country and I don't know where we would find a man 
who approached him in ability and tenacity. He actually 
puts over the program in such a big way and makes a suc- 
cess of it. 

When we were starting, we found lots of youngsters who 
needed attention, and "the old judge" (Roy E. Brownell) 
does more work than I do by a lot I'm away, and he stays 
home and stands the gaff. 

Mr. Lamb is another one of those regular guys . . . Jim 
Olson (school health officer and head of the Mott health 
program) is another brick, another one of the best. What 
we want is health-corrected children. 

And I want people to know the amount of work done by 
these people Dr. Fred Miner and the Kiwanis health camp, 
the Rotary dub with crippled children; Judge Frank L. 
McAvinchey of the Lions dub in furnishing glasses he's 
shooting down our alley, too, and is entitled to a lot of 
credit; to Bill Knudsen here, in his Clara Elizabeth Fund; 
Mr. William S. Ballenger who has provided and developed 
that wonderful park on the west side; to Floyd Adams of 
Detroit for starting our boys* camp idea, which was one of 
the early things we had; and to Frank Farry, present Mott 
camp director the boys think he's the salt of the earth 
and he's certainly doing a marvelous job. 

All of these people have done things for which speakers 
have given me credit, but it's those whose names I've men- 
tioned who are entitled to the real tribute. 

Many additional telegrams and letters added to the tributes, 
A wire from Sloan said, "I am happy today to join the citizens 
of Flint in extending to my old friend C. S. Mott all the best 
wishes and recognition which he so richly deserves. We are all 
indebted to him for having made Flint a better city in which to 

live." A communication from Sen. A. H. Vandenberg said of 
Mott, "He is a great American in his citizenship and his 
humanities. He is great in his achievements for the common 
good. He is loyal to his country, his conscience, and his friends. 
I send him my sincerest greetings." 

There were many other tributes, and a Flint Journal editorial 
the following day summed up the appreciation aptly: 

Seldom, if ever, has a heartier tribute been paid to a man 
whose good works his friends and his community wished 
to honor then when 550 men and women, all who could be 
accommodated, gathered Tuesday night for an appreciation 
dinner to Charles Stewart Mott 

The evening will be a memorable one for all who attended, 
as well as to Mr. and Mrs. Mott. The presence of each who 
attended was an indication of personal feeling, and, in the 
aggregate an expression in a rather official way of the com- 
munity's thanks for the generosity, leadership, and kindly 
interest which the Motts have shown Flint and its people. . . . 

In his diary for the day, Mott notes, 

I was extremely glad to have an opportunity to make a 
number of remarks regarding the efforts and ability and suc- 
cessful accomplishments of those who have co-operated in 
making our program possible and who are working our side 
of the street. I have from time to time tried to indicate my 
feeling and regard for the above-mentioned, but there never 
was or will be as good a chance to make the remarks that I 
wanted to make regarding them as when I had such public 
and undivided attention. 

In the fall of 1939, the Mott Foundation Children's Health 
Center at Hurley Hospital was able to implement the health- 
achievement program by a plan providing essential medical 
and dental care "for children of borderline indigent families/* 
The purpose was to bridge the rather large economic gap 
between families eligible for medical care as part of public 
relief programs and families able to pay for medical attention 
for their children. All full-time medical personnel were to be 
pediatricians; the staff also included a part-time pediatrician, 

examining general medical man, otologist, opthamologist, con- 
sulting orthopedist, two full-time dentists, two dental hygienists, 
nurse, dental assistant, audiometer technician, medical social 
worker, and clerk. Children were considered for care as re- 
ferred by public health nurses, Mott Foundation visiting 
teachers, high school principals, Mother Superiors of parochial 
schools, private physicians, and various social agencies. Each 
child referred received a complete physical examination; if care 
of any magnitude was indicated, the economic status of the 
family was investigated through the medical social worker to 
determine eligibility. 

The integration of the functions of the health center with 
the health-achievement program has provided a persistent and 
well-rounded attack on the ills, defects, and threats to the 
health of Flint children. The working budget of the Mott 
Foundation Health Center has increased to an annual figure 
exceeding $100,000 and there is no real way of assessing the 
total value of the services provided to the children in Flint over 
the years. 

For a publication of the Michigan Association for Health, 
Physical Education, and Recreation, Manley summarized the 
Mott Foundation program as it stood in 1939 in these words: 

The Mott Foundation program has four essential parts: 
recreation, adult education, camp for underprivileged boys, 
and a clinic for children who need some corrective work but 
whose parents are unable to finance the work. 

Mr. C. S. Mott, who is president and founder of the Mott 
Foundation, believes in using all the natural resources avail- 
able in the city. This means not only the physical equipment, 
such as school buildings and vacant lots, but also the latent 
leadership which is to be found in every community among 
the service clubs, chambers of commerce, and women's 
groups. . . . 

The Foundation is able to conduct, promote, and develop 
a well rounded program in health, physical education, recrea- 
tion, and safety by using all the resources possible in the city 
of Flint 

At this writing there are seventy different activities being 

offered and practically everyone who wants to participate in 
some constructive leisure time program has an opportunity 
to do so. 

There were 25,000 different participants who took part in 
the program last winter. A good many more thousands en- 
joyed a well rounded program of summer activities in the city 
and some four hundred boys were sent to camp. 

Through the four divisions of the Foundation there is an 
unusual opportunity to put into practice the theories that 
we, as health educators, have had for some time. 

The Foundation began 1940 with another new approach 
to community service: a plan whereby the courts would turn 
certain probation cases over to the Mott Foundation visiting 
teachers for investigation with the thought that "through the 
existing Mott program of education and recreation, many pro- 
bationers would be encouraged to find interests and outlets for 
their ambitions." Still another new activity was a series of 
programs devoted to planning a new home covering every- 
thing from selection of a site to financing arrangements. 

The March, 1940, issue of GM Folks, the magazine about 
General Motors people everywhere, featured the Mott Founda- 
tion with a cover picture and thirty-six additional pictures 
along with text to make up a dramatic story. Walter E. Scott, 
a Flint reporter who had covered the very first Mott Founda- 
tion activities, was managing editor of GM Folks and he took 
special pride in this full-scale presentation of the Mott Founda- 
tion's developments and objectives. In 1963, as a member of 
Flint's board of education, Scott is still justly proud of the 
1940 story in General Motors' national magazine, as he is of 
subsequent Mott program developments. 

In 1940, Mott arranged for the building of the Dr. J. A. 
Rawlings Health Center in El Paso, honoring Mrs. Mott's 
father, who had long provided medical attention for families in 
need. The J. A. Rawlings Health Center building was dedicated 
August 11, with Mrs. Mott, and her mother, Mrs. J. A. Raw- 
lings, present at the ceremonies opening this most appropriate 



With the beginning of 1941, Flint was already changing over 
to defense production. Even earlier, Knudsen had been called 
from General Motors to the Government to help production 
on a national scale. At a tribute dinner in Knudsen's honor, 
Mott had been pleased to be selected to make the presentation 
of gifts from Knudsen's General Motors associates. 

Mott took a great interest in the transition to manufacture 
of armaments in the General Motors plants, and kept himself 
informed on the progress of developments. His diary notes a 
visit to AC Spark Plug Division then producing Browning 
machine guns, on which they made delivery of the first thou- 
sand almost a year ahead of schedule. Mott was also highly 
active in United China Relief campaigns, in the course of which 
Henry R. Luce, of Time, Life, and Fortune, visited Flint as a 
guest at Applewood. Luce spoke at a United China Relief pro- 
gram, and Mott matched each dollar contributed by those at- 

In December, 1941, just two days before Pearl Harbor, 
Mott accepted an Office of Production Management assign- 
ment to help locate people with specialized experience and 
ability to assist the national defense production program. While 
in Washington, he visited Knudsen and observed, "He says he 
is quite well and looks so, though his 19 months show some- 
what in his face.'* 

With the acceleration of war production, 1942 was a busy 
year in Flint, although some temporary unemployment accom- 
panied the big changeover. Increasingly, the Mott Foundation 
adapted activities to the changing situation. 

Mott took the initiative and called a meeting of prominent 
and active Flint citizens, resulting in the organization of a War 


Chest Board reported to have been the first organized in the 
United States to handle financing of defense and war- 
connected activities. F. A. Bower, the former Weston-Mott 
engineer who had gone on to become chief engineer of Buick, 
was appointed chairman, with Mott as chairman of the ex- 
ecutive committee. Mott was appointed by Flint's mayor, Os- 
mund Kelly, to the Flint Civilian Defense Council, which first 
faced the task of enrolling, classifying, and training civilian- 
defense volunteers. 

At the annual Applewood dinner for the Flint Board of 
Education, the adaptation of the Foundation-board of educa- 
tion activities to civilian-defense needs was discussed. Mott* s 
diary for February 9, 1942, reflects typical evening Foundation 
activities in a Flint school: 

At Central High School I found a tremendous amount of 
activity in education program, largely on matters approved 
by the Office of Civilian Defense. Large classes of mechanical 
drawing, blueprint reading, shop work, and typewriting 
about 120 in a salesmanship class. The gym is in constant 
use in physical training, etc. As a matter of fact, there is 
not an hour in the day or evening when gymnasiums are not 
in constant use. The swimming pool, of course, is in full 
operation. Another group of men were training in singing, 
and in the auditorium an entire cast for Civic Grand Opera. 
On other evenings the program varies, including radio, elec- 
tricity, organic chemistry, etc. There was one room in which 
were located the counselors on job placement. There is an 
income tax class, a French class, and a Spanish class. I am 
sure that I have overlooked mentioning some that I saw, 
besides some that I probably didn't see. Of course some- 
thing similar, or different, is going on in all our large school 

An immediate civilian-defense need was 250 cots for use in 
Flint hospitals in case of emergencies, and Mott financed the 
cost of the cots, working closely with Dr. Gordon Bahlman, in 
charge of the civilian-defense medical program. 

On February 13, 1942, Susan Mott was six years old and 
on February 27, Susan and her brother Stewart, born Decem- 
ber 4, 1937, welcomed a new baby sister, Maryanne Turnbull 
Mott to the great happiness of the whole f amily. 

Mott Foundation personnel helped in every aspect of civilian- 
defense and war-preparedness activities, from assisting in the 
complex registration of volunteers to arranging and conducting 
a multitude of training programs both for civilian defense and 
for employment in war production. The emphasis on Ameri- 
canization accelerated Foundation activities in citizenship 
training, in which many aliens were assisted toward their 
naturalization. The Foundation's counseling, training, and 
placement service interviewed thousands of young people, help- 
ing many of them to find jobs. The interest of both Mott and 
Manley in physical fitness was also reflected in training activities 
related to the war; it became self-evident to many people that 
physical fitness was the necessary basis of usefulness, and there 
"was a marked increase in the Foundation's enrollment in this 
field. Specific classes in shop skills blueprint reading, machine 
shop, drafting, and other similar courses were very popular. 

Manley was appointed Chief of Volunteer Participation, the 
aspect of civilian defense related to community organization, 
training, and morale. City Manager George Gundry headed the 
protective services, including air raid wardens and related 
emergency groups making up the rest of the civilian-defense 
program, with City Planner George C. Hayward as executive 
director for the whole organization, reporting to the Flint 
Council of Defense. Quite naturally, the facilities, experience, 
and organization of the Foundation adapted ideally to civilian- 
defense training. 

A 1942 Foundation development of importance was exten- 
sion of the adult education program to include college-level 
classes for credit 

In the fall of 1 942, the Bureau of Government of the Univer- 
sity of Michigan published a brief study of the Mott Foundation 
in its series of Michigan Pamphlets, under the title: An Ex- 


periment in Community Improvement. This twenty-nine page 
booklet, written by Robert S. Ford, director of the bureau of 
government, and Frances H. Miner, reviewed and appraised 
the Foundation's activities. It concludes with an excellent 
thumbnail-sketch of the Foundation in 1942. 

The program now being carried on in Flint is unique in 
several respects, of which the following are perhaps the most 
important. First, it developed in response to definite needs 
of the city and expanded only when it became evident that 
new activities could be administered in an effective and 
efficient manner. Second, the organization and administration 
of the Mott program and of various community agencies have 
been co-ordinated in such a manner as to achieve the greatest 
efficiency in operation. For example, the director of the Mott 
recreational program is also the supervisor of physical educa- 
tion in the school system. The director of the Mott Children's 
Health Center is director of health in the public schools. The 
health achievement program in the public schools is super- 
vised by the director of health of the public schools and the 
director of nursing for the city Health Department. The Mott 
visiting teachers co-operate closely with the city and country 
public health nurses. An important person in the administra- 
tion of all aspects of the program is the superintendent of 
schools. Other illustrations could be mentioned, but these will 
suffice to show the type of community co-operation and cen- 
tralized administration that is necessary to carry out a compre- 
hensive program. Third, the use of existing facilities in the 
community, both material and organizational, reduces the cost 
and increases the effectiveness of the program. Being tax- 
supported, the schools are the common property of the people 
of the city, and they have the additional advantage of being 
natural locations for community centers. Finally, the Mott 
program shows the possibility of co-operation between pri- 
vate and public agencies, of private funds superimposed upon 
and partly administered by municipal organizations, and its 
object is not only to accomplish results in Flint, but to serve 
as an example for other communities by showing how an 
improvement of community life may be effected. In general, 

this program emphasizes the importance of health, education, 
wholesome activity, good citizenship, and the kind of de- 
mocracy that comes from the intermingling of many kinds of 
people in their leisure time. 

When there are added to this review the special emphasis 
of the Foundation on civilian defense, Americanization, and 
other developments heightened by the war and the opening of 
a college division the result is an accurate picture of the 
Mott Foundation as it entered 1943 with a $140,000 budget 
for the year's operations. 

Flint's war-connected activities were accelerated through 
the Foundation's program in 1943 particularly in the varied 
fields of civilian backing for the war effort through Flint's 
Neighborhood War Clubs, a remarkable accomplishment in 
community organization as part of civilian defense. F. A. 
Bower was chairman of this project, and the Mott Foundation 
made many essential contributions to its success. Typical of the 
Foundation's help was sponsorship of classes and demonstra- 
tions in canning foods. The block-sized clubs throughout all 
parts of Flint along with the completely democratic organ- 
ization and training of air raid wardens and other protective- 
service groups of civilian defense gave a quality of mutuality 
and unity to Flint's war effort which could scarcely have been 
achieved otherwise. 

The death, on June 20, 1943, of Frank G. Farry, Mott 
Camp Director, was a serious loss to the Foundation program. 
A man genuinely dedicated to boys' work, Farry had been 
effective beyond the power of most men in influencing the lives 
of many thousands of boys constructively. Joseph Grady be- 
came Director of Mott Camp, and the work continued. 

In the spring of 1943, Lieutenant-General Knudsen visited 
Flint to present the commencement speech to General Motors 
Institute graduates. General and Mrs. Knudsen were house 
guests at Applewood while in Flint, and Mott notes in his diary 
that General Knudsen's address was "one of the best I ever 
heard him give." 


Mott has never been more active than during these war 
years and his diary reflects the amazing scope of his activities 
in the Foundation, civilian defense, war chest, and in his widen- 
ing industrial and business interests. His diaries include dis- 
cussions of the progress of the war, many references to the 
progress of industry in war production, and continuing concern 
with Flint's social problems. Through all this multitude of 
activities, Mott's concern for all members of his family is also 
reflected in every page of his diary which is, in effect, a 
remarkable kind of newsletter written for the benefit of his 
children and other members of his family and his closest 
friends. On June 20, 1943, for example, Mott records the 
christening of daughter Maryanne. 

Reverend Jackson took Maryanne in his arms, dipped his 
hand in the fount three times and anointed her head and made 
the sign of the Cross on her forehead. Then Maryanne de- 
cided to take part in (he proceedings and stretched out to 
dip her own hand in the fount, which Reverend Jackson per- 
mitted her to do, and she anointed her own head, repeating 
this operation twice, rather to the entertainment of the on- 
lookers. It was undoubtedly very unusual and it was a lot 
better than having her howling and protesting as a matter 
of fact she made quite a hit 

A few days later, there is a detailed report of visits to Mott 
Camp and to Hamady House. Another of Mott's special char- 
acteristics emerging clearly from the pages of the diary is his 
consistent fondness for animals. Perhaps the most amazing 
features of all in his diaries are the conversations reported there 
because Mott has always been discussing an infinite variety 
of subjects with the people around him, and reports of many of 
those conversations find their way into the diary. Most of all, 
the diaries are evidence of the myriads of friends Mott has 
made everywhere; they remember him, and he remembers 

Among those friends, none has been closer than Roy Brow- 
nell and when Mott is in Flint, there is seldom a day's diary 

report without a reference to time spent with Brownell. Con- 
ferences with Manley are almost as frequently reported. The 
diary also recounts the details of daily life the many activities 
of Mrs. Mott, including her participation in Red Cross, child 
welfare board, Junior League, and other civic organizations 
and the doings of the three younger children along with 
letters from the older children reflecting Mott's pride and 
pleasure in his family. Any single year's diary would constitute 
a volume at least half the size of this one. 

As Flint industry increased war production, there were more 
and more jobs. Many women went to work in the shops, and 
new juvenile-delinquency problems were created. The problem 
became increasingly acute, with so many unsupervised children 
throughout the city. The Foundation assisted in the develop- 
ment of nursery schools to care for small children whose 
mothers were employed. 

Victory gardens, nutrition, rationing, salvage, child care, 
physical fitness, and allied efforts were approached through the 
neighborhood war clubs and the Mott Foundation in a city- 
wide cooperative endeavor. The Mott Foundation precedents 
were of inestimable value in trail-blazing for the block-plan 
clubs, and the backing of the Foundation was a major factor 
in the development of these neighborhood meeting groups 
one of the truly democratic dividends of the war effort, as Flint 
neighbors learned to know each other and to work together 
for common purposes. 

The board of education and the Foundation undertook to 
organize boys' clubs in a number of areas in the city. For girls, 
the Stepping Stone program was expanded. Practical nursing 
courses, and the opportunities offered by the college division of 
the Foundation, were other comparatively new programs that 
received wide acceptance in late 1943. In the college division, 
the second semester, opening January 10, 1944, added ten 
more instructors and seventeen additional courses, making the 
total number of courses forty. 

In April, 1944, the Mott Foundation purchased "Flint's 


Skyscraper" the sixteen-story Union Industrial Building 
in pursuance of a policy of investing in income-producing 
properties to assure the continuing endowment of the Foun- 
dation. Mott and Brownell represented the Foundation in this 
purchase from the Flint Depositors Corporation. The building 
which had been built in 1929 at a reported cost of $1.7 
million was purchased for $525,000; it was bringing in 
$33,000 annual income. 

Father Flanagan, of Boys Town, visited Flint in the spring 
of 1944; he praised the efforts of the city and the Mott Foun- 
dation, noting that "... all cities are not as blessed with civic 
consciousness as this one with its Mayor Kelly and Mr. C. S. 
Mott." Local youth agency leaders discussed Flint's problems 
with Father Flanagan, and as a result, the Mott Foundation, 
Probate Court, YMCA, Flint Guidance Center, schools, Junior 
Chamber of Commerce, and Flint Optimist Club began plan- 
ning for a Flint version of the Big Brother movement for Flint. 
As a result of the conference with Father Flanagan, the Mott 
Foundation worked with other Flint agencies in establishment 
of the Flint Youth Bureau, and Joseph T. Ryder was employed 
as director. In addition to the efforts of the Foundation in this 
field for a number of years, the Junior Chamber of Commerce 
and the Optimist Club had been working in the same direction. 
Mott, who introduced Father Flanagan at a chamber-of-com- 
merce luncheon, indicated the full cooperation of the Foun- 
dation in implementing a program for Flint boys. 

Another 1944 development was the institution of a pilot 
project at Martin School, with additional teachers to bring the 
pupil-teacher ratio down to an approved figure, and the use 
of complete testing and individualized instruction methods as 
recommended by educators. Foundation funds made possible 
the additional teacher personnel for this "model school" demon- 

At the end of the 1943-1944 health-achievement program, 
8,571 or 48.2 per cent of the 17,782 children participating 
were found to be free of dental defects, as announced by Miss 

Cornelia Mulder, school health coordinator. Miss Mulder, a 
dental hygienist with the health achievement program from 
the beginning, has been a directing force in the whole health 
program. The 1944 health-guarded child figure was 5,785 or 
30.08 per cent of those participating free of correctable 
physical defects. In addition, 2,129 free miniature X rays had 
been provided for high school students in the year, in coopera- 
tion with the Genesee County Tuberculosis Association. 

Mott had been interested in the activities of Goodwill Indus- 
tries, providing employment for handicapped people, for some 
time, and early in 1944 he planned with Brownell and the 
local Goodwill Industries manager to improve the organiza- 
tion's operations in Flint. Mott was also concerned with the 
problem of returning veterans, and conferred with Russel V. 
Somes, supervisor of the Industrial Mutual Association's Vet- 
erans Service Department in working out cooperative arrange- 
ments for rehabilitation, training, and education for veterans in 
which the Foundation could be of assistance. Mott also invited 
President Ruthven of the University of Michigan to Flint to 
discuss such plans. 

Increasingly, Mott felt that employment of mothers of young 
children often left the children without proper care or super- 
vision and, in effect, created the kind of basic situation lead- 
ing to juvenile delinquency. It was clear to him that this policy 
on the part of industry was at cross-purposes with the efforts of 
such a community as Flint to improve home conditions for 
children and reduce the causes of delinquency. He wrote a 
letter, on June 5, 1944, to the board of directors of General 
Motors Corporation. The letter states, in part: 

Re: Working mothers of children 
under fourteen years of age 

Due to hiring of the above without investigation of home 
conditions and results produced, juvenile delinquency, neglect, 
and distress of children affected have increased intolerably 
all over the country. 


Through Mr. Frank Manley of the Mott Foundation and 
Flint School System, we have, during the past year, investi- 
gated many homes of delinquent and maladjusted children. 
Out of a group of one hundred 65 boys and 35 girls we 
found that fifty-one cases came from broken homes. In fifty- 
five cases both parents were working outside the homes. Only 
seventeen indicated any affiliation with any church. We have 
detailed case history of all of them 

I am not asking that you refuse to employ any of these 
women, nor do I ask the Corporation to go to the trouble or 
expense of making home investigations. But I do suggest 
that you adopt a policy of refusing to employ any of them 
who do not bring with them a proper certificate, signed by 
a proper social agency, to the effect that the hiring of this 
woman will not seriously harm her children. In Flint, such 
social agencies are already in existence and undoubtedly most 
of the families in question are already on file. 

If you don't care to adopt the above policy at once, I ask 
that you refer the matter to your Management with request 
that complete Study and Report be made to Directors at early 

Subsequently, General Motors adopted such a plan in Flint, 
and later the Administration Committee of General Motors 
Corporation unanimously resolved, "that Vice-President H. 
W. Anderson is requested to contact all divisions of the corpo- 
ration and explain the plan which is now in operation in the 
Flint area in regard to the employment of mothers having 
children under fourteen years of age, and advise the divisions 
that it is the wish of this committee that similar action be taken 
by them." 

On November 2, 1944, Mott attended a banquet sponsored 
by the Flint Chamber of Commerce to honor the establishment 
in Flint of a University of Michigan Extension Center. Univer- 
sity of Michigan President Alexander Ruthven a man Mott 
has always admired greatly was the principal speaker. The 
printed program for the evening was headed: "With the advent 
of the University of Michigan Extension Center combined with 

the College Division of the Mott Foundation already in exist- 
ence, Flint's educational opportunities have been broadened to 
meet the requirements of all adults in the community.*' Gyles 
Merrill reported to the group Mott's interest, activity, and 
support of the University of Michigan Extension Center, and 
presented a handsome plaque honoring Mott for "significant 
contributions to our community life " 

Mott responded to this completely unexpected tribute by 
explaining that the Foundation's activities in adult education, 
health, and recreation were an expression of his concern for 
the city where he had spent thirty-eight years of his life. He 
spoke, also, of his friendship for President Ruthven, and others 
of the University of Michigan staff, and of the gratification 
provided by the University's establishment of these new adult 
education facilities. Mott said in simple terms that he got more 
real pleasure from his participation in the whole program than 
from anything he did in business or personal recreation. 

The Flint Journal of November 9, 1944, noted that the 
Mott Foundation was providing $17,500 to the Flint Board 
of Education to buy the old post office building in downtown 
Flint at Kearsley and Harrison Streets as a permanent head- 
quarters for social agencies and perhaps one or more school 
offices. The other building purchased earlier in the same year 
by the Mott Foundation the former Union Industrial Building 
was renamed the Mott Foundation Building effective Jan- 
uary 1, 1945. 



June 2, 1945, was Mott's seventieth birthday. He received con- 
gratulatory messages from near and far. In his diary for the 
day, Mott comments, "Having now reached the mature age of 
three score and ten I suppose I am expected to be put up on 
the shelf, but I have many friends from 10 to 25 years older 
than I am who are still hustling around, so I don't expect there 
is much chance for me to quit." 

During 1945, Frank Manley compiled a comprehensive re- 
view of the Mott Foundation after ten years of operation. This 
study is much more fully developed than the University of 
Michigan booklet of 1942, and it includes more of the under- 
lying factors leading to the initiation and evolution of the many 
aspects of Foundation activities. The introduction to the study 
presents the important social problems the Foundation was 
created to meet. Other sections of the report cover recreation 
and child welfare, adult education, guidance and counseling, 
child health, camping and club programs and it concludes 
with a summary and a look ahead. A few quotations demon- 
strate the clear vision and deep feeling Manley has always had 
toward improvement of opportunity for people of every age, 
and in every situation with particular concern for the young. 

This study will trace the community needs which the Mott 
Foundation program in Flint has been attempting to meet, 
the adjustments in thinking, planning, and executing of plans 
to meet emerging and changing needs, the progressive de- 
velopment of the program, its objectives and philosophy, its 
expanding scope, and the policies and procedures used in 
carrying it out 

Juvenile delinquency and other forces making for social 
disintegration highlighted and intensified because of war 
are causing increasing concern. Much study is currently being 

given to the problem of what shall be our dynamic philosophy 
of education. Questions such as these are being asked: should 
the schools assume social leadership and share with parents, 
social workers, and citizens in general the responsibility for a 
constructive reorganization of forces an effective concentra- 
tion of community resources upon problems of children, 
youth, and adults? Can the public school that most Amer- 
ican of all institutions make any progress in restoring to 
our complex lives something of the community interest, the 
neighborly spirit, and the democracy of a more rural day? 
Can the public school utilized as a real community center 
serve as a focal point from which influence and leadership 
can radiate for community good, and through which the 
efforts of other public and private agencies can be integrated 
thus helping to neutralize the disintegrating forces of mod- 
ern urban life? 

... by studying the development and pattern of one ten- 
year experiment it is hoped significant trends, strengths, and 
limitations may be revealed. Through the generosity and 
vision of a local citizen, Mr. Charles Stewart Mott, the schools 
of Flint have had a unique opportunity for a demonstration 
of the effective use of existing school and community facil- 

. . . leaders in the field of education are more and more 
emphatically proclaiming that we cannot separate the wel- 
fare and social integration of the child from the welfare and 
social integration of the various members of the home, of 
the individual adult in his environment, and of the family with 
the community at large To achieve the goal of social plan- 
ning in a democracy building a community in which every 
individual, regardless of race or creed or color, may enjoy 
equal opportunity for fullest self-development democracy 
has always put its trust primarily in three institutions: the 
home, the school, and the church What is the responsi- 
bility and opportunity of the school in integrating, coordinat- 
ing, and interpreting the social and educational resources of 
a community to those who need these services in short, in 
acting as a bridge between those who have needs and those 
agencies and individuals who wish to serve? 


Mauley outlines the social history of Flint, and describes 
the circumstances leading to the establishment of the first Mott 
Foundation recreational activities in 1935. He points out that 
the Foundation had adapted with ready flexibility through three 
periods: the depression, the conversion to wartime living, and 
the postwar readjustment always working with, and through, 
the other institutions and agencies of the community. As to the 
appropriate role of the school, Manley remarks that the Mott 
Foundation is unique among foundations as "the only one 
which actually underwrites the public school in its efiort to 
provide a wider scope of service for all children, youth and 
adults in the community.** 

The study continues with a detailed report of the origin, 
evolution, and (as of 1945) current status of each division of 
the Foundation program demonstrating the fact that "shift- 
ing of emphasis to meet changing needs has been a definite 
basic principle of operation throughout." Another fact demon- 
strated is that "the general method of operation sometimes 
involves plans to finance a total program, sometimes to finance 
part of a program, and sometimes to fill in the gap where there 
is a specific need and later to withdraw support when the job 
has been completed or is being accomplished by another 
group." Illustrations are offered in which, after the Foundation 
had shown the value of a program, other agencies or institu- 
tions have carried on the work. Manley comments, "The Foun- 
dation feels it has been most successful when this sort of thing 
happens/' He also states, "Clearly, the Mott program tries to 
show the possibility of co-operation between private and public 
agencies and of die use of private funds administered by a 
municipal organization; namely, the public schools. Its primary 
object is not only to accomplish results in Flint, but to serve 
as an example for other communities by showing how an im- 
provement in community life may be co-operatively effected."* 

The Foundation's annual budget had increased from a com- 
paratively small figure in 1935 to $200,000. Other 1945 Foun- 
dation developments included the opening of the Flint Inter- 

racial Community Center, with this stated objective: "The 
purpose of the Center shall be to work toward the im- 
provement of better living, working, and playing conditions in 
the city of Flint, Michigan, between the races, in the fields of 
recreation, social, moral, and civic affairs by co-ordinating and 
supplementing such services to provide the best possible serv- 
ices to the community regardless of race, creed, color, or reli- 
gious affiliations." 

There was also a marked expansion of the health-education 
and services program, a veterans' educational-counseling serv- 
ice established at Flint Junior College, and initiation of a 
junior high school sports program. 

Early in 1946, Harding Mott promoted to major in the 
Army Air Force shortly before termination of his military 
services began devoting much of his time to Foundation 
activities, along with assisting his father in widely varied 
business interests. In January, 1946, the Foundation received 
an award of meritorious service from Donald S. Leonard, state 
director of civilian defense, "in recognition of extraordinary 
and outstanding service in Civilian Defense during World 
War II." 

The February, 1946, issue of the Michigan Education Jour- 
nal printed a six-page report of the success of the Mott Foun- 
dation project at Flint's Martin Elementary School. The report 
noted that after two years with two additional teachers and 
a full-time clerk provided by the Mott Foundation the school 
"advanced in educational achievement, from twenty-second 
place to sixth place among Flinf s twenty-six elementary 
schools." The primary factor had been reduction of the pupil- 
teacher ratio to 30-1. In addition, the report points out, 
teachers changed as much as the pupils, feeling renewed 
dedication to the opportunity to do a better job with smaller 
classes. L. A. Lundburg, assistant superintendent in charge of 
research and statistics, is quoted as saying, "Teachers certainly 
responded to the program, doing many things they felt they 
had wanted to do but had been prevented from doing by the 


serious pupa overload." The Martin 6A class after two years 
of the demonstration of "reasonable" conditions tied for the 
first place among all Flint elementary schools, showing in six- 
teen school months progress equivalent to that normally ex- 
pected in twenty-seven months. 

This demonstration is typical of one of the directions Mott 
Foundation activities were to take in the next period of years 
pilot projects in improved educational methods, development 
of the school as the heart of effective community integration. 

On August 29, 1946, Mott joined a great many old friends 
in celebrating C. F. Kettering's seventieth birthday at Ketter- 
ing's birthplace farm, a few miles from Loudenville, Ohio. Mott 
made the journey with one of his closest friends, H. H. Curtice. 
The celebration is reported in detail in Mott's diary. 

This farm is where Kettering's parents lived and where 
Kettering was born. He still owns the property and has it 
operated. They had originally expected 50 or 100 people, but 
the party at the farm grew to 500. We found Ket receiving 
guests in the bam where he had worked as a youngster 

We had a very nice country dinner. Afterwards there was 
some talking from the top of a farm wagon where there was 
also a small piano, and Ket and three of his high school class- 
mates sang their class song. ... In the course of time we were 
taken in to Loudenville where in the large public park there 
was a stage set up, a band, and a large number of seats for 
the audience. A number of us from out of town sat on the 
platform for a while during which Col. E. A. Deeds intro- 
duced us and told something of Kefs history. Then we 

moved down to the lower level A pageant was given on 

the stage depicting the conditions during Kefs youth . 

At 4:00 o'clock there was more speech making, but every- 
thing was in the clear at 4:30 when broadcaster Tom Manning 
took over for a so-called national hookup on the air, describ- 
ing what was going on, and then introducing Ket, who made 
a remarkable talk about conditions in general. 

Then came a parade, passing between the first row of the 
band, of real old fashioned carriages, wagons, and equestrians. 
Then the early hand-cranked automobiles the last of which 


was the single-cylinder Cadillac. And then a parade of the 
very latest models, 1946 

Among those present was Col. E. A. Deeds he is about 
72 years old and is Chairman of the Board of the National 
Cash Register Company. I knew him during World War One, 
and ever since, and he is extremely friendly with me. He and 
Ket started the Delco some 40 years ago, and the starter and 
lighting system were first invented and first produced in Deeds* 

barn 1 also met Orvflle Wright, whom I have known for 

a long time. He celebrated his 75th birthday last week, I be- 
lieve. He is the surviving brother of the Wrights who flew the 
first plane at Kitty Hawk. 

In the presence of Wright and others I told the following 
story. Some ten or fifteen years ago I was attending a large 
gathering, when suddenly I was surrounded by six or eight 
very charming and effusive young women who showered every 
attention upon me. My chest and head began to swell, and I 
was wondering how I had acquired this wonderful appeal and 
power over women, when one of them made a remark to me 
including the name of Mr. Wright. I very foolishly said, "But 
I am not Mr. Wright; my name is Mott," and the speed with 
which those girls deserted me in search of the right Mr. 
Wright completely dissipated my illusion. 

My old friend Lt. General Bill Kmidsen was there, now in 
civilian clothes, and I had a nice talk with him. ... He told 
me now he has 11 grandchildren. . . * 

Other Foundation developments in 1946-1947 included in- 
service training of teachers, for a new approach to the work of 
health education and of the visiting teachers. A special home- 
making program was instituted to assist war brides and en- 
larged programs in English and civics were established to help 
displaced persons and war brides. A basketball program for all 
junior high school boys was organized, and a demonstration 
physical education program for elementary schools was begun. 
A special lecture series, "Building Your Marriage," was jointly 
sponsored by the Mott Foundation, the Clara Elizabeth Fund, 
the Flint Council of Churches, and the YWCA. Another ex- 
perimental course, "The Charming Woman," presented dis- 


cussions and demonstrations in the elements of charm styling, 
walking, comportment, speech, dieting, hygiene. 

A grant of $2,400 was made by the Mott Foundation to the 
University of Michigan to support a graduate program in the 
Department of Pediatrics for a physician who could serve in the 
Flint school health program after two years of study. An 
audiometer technician was added to the staff at the Mott 
Foundation Children's Health Center. Mott recreation super- 
visor, Harold Bacon, was invited to visit Brazil on a good- 
will tour, demonstrating Foundation recreational and physical 
education techniques. This 1946-1947 program worked on a 
$214,304 budget, exploring new areas of services as needs 
emerged. With the Flint Institute of Arts, the Foundation 
sponsored lecture courses on art for appreciation, understand- 
ing, and enjoyment of both classic and modern painting. The 
first annual inter-cultural banquet was held at the Flint Inter- 
racial Community Center, with Dr. Gilbert Jones, of Wilber- 
force University, as the speaker. 

In 1947, Mott was awarded the Stevens Institute of Tech- 
nology Alumni Award Medallion; the presentation was made 
by alumni president Herman K. Interman. Stevens' President 
Harvey N. Davis was the principal speaker; Mott was rec- 
ognized for his loyalty and devotion, and for his helpful guid- 
ance and enthusiastic support of the college. Several months 
later, Mott attended the fiftieth anniversary dinner of the 
Stevens Class of '97. He dedicated the new Charles Stewart 
Mott Field House which the Mott Foundation had contributed 
to Stevens Institute. 

Less than a month later, Mott received the Forney W. 
Clement Memorial Award by Kiwanis, "In recognition of out- 
standing service." Mott notes in his diary for the day: 

Of course I had to say something in acceptance, and so 
I said that I assumed that the award had something to do 
with the activities of our Foundation, and I compared the 
program to a motor truck of which the Board of Education 
was the body and Frank Manley was the engine which did all 

of the work, and the Foundation simply furnished the gas- 
oline; therefore, Frank Manley, who is the hardest working 
chap in the community on things for the general good, was 
really entitled to the award, and that in accepting it I took it 
for the work that he had accomplished. 

Another 1947 diary entry indicates the admiration of Mott 
for Charles Wetherald, who had been made manager of U.S. 
Sugar Company. 

Our new manager, Charles Wetherald, who until a couple 
of years ago was Production Manager of Chevrolet, producing 
a billion dollars worth of war materials per armnm during the 
war, and over a million cars per annum pre-war, is an expert 
in agriculture, cattle raising, and factory management. He has 
already greatly improved operations and reduced costs, and 
this year our sugar production will be greater than we ever 
produced, probably 100,000 tons. 

The fall of 1947 brought additional Foundation activities 
expansion of evening classes, organization of a Stepping Stone 
Mothers Club at Lincoln School, and the beginning of a Fair- 
view School pilot project. The genuineness of community need 
and interest was demonstrated by ever-increasing enrollments 
and requests for new courses. Other parts of the program were 
continuing with wider and wider acceptance and participation. 
Adult education and recreation . . . summer recreation and 
safety activities . . . athletic programs for boys and girls . . . 
the college division . . . practical nurses* training . . . vocational 
guidance and job placement . . . citizenship and naturalization 
classes . . . veterans' institute for education and counseling . . . 
the visiting teachers ... the Flint Youth Bureau ... the exper- 
imental education demonstration at Martin School ... an 
experimental study conducted at McKinley Elementary and 
Junior High School to consider the needs of boys and girls from 
kindergarten through the ninth grade, with possible curriculum 
changes or adjustments . . . Hamady House homemaking dem- 
onstrations and Stepping Stone Club program . . . Mott Camp 


. . . health guidance and protection . . . special education 
classes . . . and other activities. 

The 1948 winter term adult education courses including 
the college division, high school division, and general courses 
covered a wide scope of interests. There were courses in 
economics, accounting, political science, psychology, mental 
hygiene, child development, food preparation, sewing, beau- 
tifying the home, money management for the family, problems 
of international relations, music appreciation, effective speak- 
ing, correct English, Spanish, photography, creative writing, 
crafts workshop, water color painting, Braille reading and 
writing plus vocational and business courses. 

Mott's diary, his personal "five-foot book-shelf," continues 
in great detail, demonstrating Mott's amazing interest in every 
aspect of the world around him. There are countless stories of 
the doings of the three younger children and reports of the 
activities of the three older children and other family members 
and friends. There is constant evidence of Mott's kind of 
responsible personal management; he believes in employing 
the finest of specialized management for his interests, and he 
also believes in and practices complete personal participation 
in those interests himself; this applies equally to the operation 
of the Foundation, and the water companies, sugar company, 
department stores, bank, and other business interests. He has 
always accepted very seriously his responsibilities as a director 
of General Motors, along with other assignments he has carried 
out for that corporation. Such personal management does not 
mean taking responsibility and decision away from the execu- 
tives employed; it does mean that, in the director function at 
the policy-making level, Mott believes in getting all the facts for 
himself in order best to direct and advise the major policies of 
operation so that executives have fully informed and intelli- 
gent backing. 

Nothing has delighted Mott more than finding and develop- 
ing able executives. His appreciation of Wetherald has been 
noted. He found another such excellent executive, Victor Weir, 

as chief engineer of one of the water companies, and broadened 
Weir's responsibilities to include a strong hand in the direction 
of all the water companies. Mott's fact gathering, and attend- 
ance at directors' meetings of all these interests have always 
involved a great deal of travel and while traveling, Mott en- 
gages in conversations with many people, often reporting the 
incidents in his diary. There are also forceful expressions of 
Mott's own beliefs on national and international affairs, 
economics, physical fitness, behavior, science, and industry. 
He has lived up to that obligation of the civilized man to know 
something about everything, and to have a point of view toward 
everything. At the same time, he has always had an acute 
sense of the congruities, and there are many jokes and anec- 
dotes in the diary reflecting a highly active sense of humor. 

In September, 1948, the former old post office building was 
formally opened as the Flint Community Service Center 
housing a number of Flint Community Chest agencies. Mott 
had provided the funds with which the Flint Board of Educa- 
tion had purchased the building, and the dedication ceremonies 
included presentation of a portrait of Mott (arranged for by 
a group of his friends) to be displayed in the building. When 
Mott saw the portrait, he announced that he would "have to 
go to the art institute and have the artist paint me up so I 
would look as good as the picture.'* 

A December diary entry mentions a discussion of some thirty 
acres of Mott's estate fronting on Court Street: 

I was very busy and almost forgot a luncheon date with 
Harding to meet Superintendent of Schools Mark Bills, Man- 
ley, and the School Board Committee at noon at the City 

Club I told the school folks that if they would put up a 

modern school there, I would give them the property The 

school must be rather different from schools built in the past. 
In other words, it must be functional in every respect and not 
an architectural, unfunctional monstrosity. The size of the 
grounds will permit plenty of athletic fields, parking facilities, 
etc. I wouldn't be at all surprised in the far distant future if 


the entire balance of our Applewood property found its way 
into the hands of the Board of Education when the Mott 
family no longer cares to use it for themselves. 

This vision of the functional school, coupled with another 
exploratory program then being conducted by the Foundation 
at Fairview School, suggests the larger community-school con- 
cept toward which the Foundation and Flint were moving. 

The comprehensive annual report of Mott Foundation activ- 
ities for 1947-1948 devotes thirteen pages to the Fairview 
pilot project School and Foundation resources were concen- 
trated on this elementary school in a highly industrialized sec- 
tion of Flint bounded on the west and south by the Buick 
Motor Division and on the east by the Flint River. Housing 
conditions were crowded, and there were few play areas and 
wholesome recreational centers. Of the 393 children in the 
school 92 per cent were Negro. A few quotations from the 
report present a glimpse of the tremendous undertaking pro- 

In the Fairview District, the serious-minded parents who 
want better things for their children find life a continual strug- 
gle to combat destructive influences. Children whose parents 
have long since bowed to prevailing conditions come to school 
in a poor state of nutrition and health, with serious behavior 
problems and little hope for the fuure. 

The principal, staff, and consultants . . . decided upon six 
areas of special need and proposed to do whatever they could 
during the year to: 

Survey the community needs and then attempt to meet 
them . . . interest community members in greater co-operation 
. . . re-evaluate the curriculum and make necessary changes 
. . . improve health conditions . . . provide activities that would 
lessen frustration and aggression and substitute accomplish- 
ments, satisfaction, and happiness . . . work toward better 
understanding of children. 

Home calls were made to discover housing, types of em- 
ployment, family income, educational and social backgrounds, 
religion, attitudes, diets, adult education interest . . . Above 

all, the teachers of Fairview School have a feeling of great 

kindness for humanity They attempt at all times to create 

a warm "class room climate" where there is good rapport 
among all individuals, where there is mutual respect and un- 
derstanding. . . . During the year many consultants have given 

generously of time, interest, and special skills Fairview 

staff members spent much time on curriculum study ... de- 
veloping a curriculum to fit community needs 

Every effort has been made through the year to improve 
the health of the children The number of "Health- 
Guarded" children at Fairview has increased dramatically as 
the result of the concentrated efforts of all concerned. The 
highest previous percentage was 11.5%. This year it was 
57.5% During the winter season, Fairview children pur- 
chased 533 bottles of milk, and 2,747 were distributed free 
through the co-operation of the Community Fund 

During the year, twenty clubs have been organized as extra- 
curricular programs to furnish wholesome leisure time activ- 
ities and more constructive experience in the hope of lessen- 
ing frustration. . . . Visiting teacher services to Fairview School 
have been carried on in two ways: personal service to chil- 
dren, and teacher in-service training. . . . The adult education 
program was available for any possible service to the parents 
of the neighborhood. Planning meetings with various groups 
of mothers were held at the beginning of the year to plan a 
study and service program which they felt might be most 
helpful to them. Objectives were sociability, friendship, under- 
standing A table cloth and tea set were provided for use 

at meetings, with different mothers acting as hostesses 

There were service programs a sewing day to help remodel, 
alter, and repair children's clothes, assistance with the cos- 
tumes for the Christmas play, the Tuberculosis Chest X-ray 
program, the Health Achievement program, etc. . . . 

These excerpts give only a partial reflection of the total effort 
at Fairview to make the school the true center of a community 
which had had no meaningful relationship to the school or 
to any real community center before. 

The Mott Foundation's educational explorations were break- 


ing down the wall between the home and the school. The Fair- 
view project was one of several special educational attempts to 
relate the school and the community in the most effective 
fashion; re-evaluation of school curriculum was one such area 
of consideration, so that what the school would teach would 
be truly relevant to the needs of the people being taught. 

In March, 1949, thirty-nine educators from colleges visited 
Flint to review the Mott Foundation program, and reported 
something like amazement at the scope and down-to-earth 
effectiveness of the activities. Mott outlined the Foundation's 
basic purposes to the visitors at Hamady Clubhouse, and they 
had an opportunity to observe the Stepping Stone program for 
girls. They visited Fairview School, and learned something 
about the project there from Miss Josephine McDougall, the 
principal. Cooperation between the Foundation and the 
schools in the health program was explained by Miss Cornelia 
Mulder, coordinator of health education. Dr. Arthur L. Tuuri, 
director of the Mott Foundation Children's Health Center, 
outlined the several aspects of the health program. Joseph T. 
Ryder told the visiting educators about the Flint Youth Bureau, 
and Walter S. Holmlund detailed the operation of the visiting 
teachers' work. The educators who had come from five state 
colleges and educational agencies also visited the Interracial 
Community Center and adult education classes at several 
schools. They heard about the Mott Camp, and the boys' 
baseball program and some of them attended a recreation 
square dancing class. 

This tour by a fairly large group, coming to Flint to learn 
ways and means of improving educational methods, was the 
forerunner of increasing numbers of visitors from almost every- 
where who have wanted to see the many-sided Foundation 
program in action. 



June 1, 1950, on the eve of Charles Stewart Mott's seventy- 
fifth birthday, Flint held a birthday party in his honor at the 
Industrial Mutual Association auditorium. The Flint Board of 
Education was the official sponsor of this diamond jubilee 
birthday party but it was community-wide in participation: 
everyone was invited to attend, and more than 5,000 people 
did so. A pageant presented scenes from Mott's life, under the 
title, "Portrait of an American," with text read by the author, 
Miss Ola Hiller, to a background of music. Mott was shown as 
a schoolboy, as a sailor, as mayor of Flint, as an industrialist 
and in relation to a cluster of Foundation activities. Then Mott 
was presented with a portrait of himself surrounded by a mon- 
tage of typical Foundation scenes a picture painted by Al 
Washington, who had received his early art training in the 
Foundation program. 

In response, Mott read a brief statement he had prepared in 
advance because, as he notes in his diary, "I would have been 
too dizzy to make these remarks extemporaneously, and I had 
a definite message I wanted to put across, so I wrote it out 
and read it." 

This is a wonderful party and I wish to express my thanks 
and appreciation to everyone who has had a part in it, and 
also Frank Manley and Ms staff and the Flint Board of Educa- 
tion and Co-ordinating Committee without whose activity 
and co-operation the so-called Mott program could not have 

While not wanting to depreciate your compliment to me, 
I cannot but feel that this is a great moment in the life of Flint 
when the attention of Flint folks is directed to what can be 
accomplished here by a Board of Education, and a model 


furnished which can be copied by other community organiza- 

Through the School Board's activities Flint has been sup- 
plied with a health program for children, and recreational 
and educational facilities for adults as well as children, includ- 
ing post-graduate courses through co-operation of the Uni- 
versity of Michigan. 

Now comes Flinf s great opportunity to approve a Bond 
Issue to build more and needed educational buildings, includ- 
ing a couple of modern and functional elementary schools, 
and improvement of Junior College. 

A study of Flint's Social Science Research shows that in 
Genesee County there are a couple of thousand young folk 
who desire the elements of a college education, but because of 
economic conditions cannot afford to stand the expense of 
living out of their homes. 

It has shown the great desirability of the establishment here 
in Flint of a Four Year Community College or branch of the 
University, and I have been authorized by our Trustees to say 
that if you will approve the proposed bond issue and if such 
college facilities can be provided, our Foundation will be de- 
lighted to contribute land and/or funds to the amount of a 
million dollars, and it is our very great ambition that you 
will do this. 

We note that a fine new library is proposed which we hope 
win be located on your new Civic Center. 

This wonderful night and the work that has been done is 
the result of hard work and intensive effort on the part of hun- 
dreds of individuals in Mr. Mauley's organization, and I can't 
close without expressing to them my heartfelt appreciation. 

Again I thank you all for this wonderful celebration and 
hope thai; with your co-operation, Flint will become the real 
Model City to be copied by others. 

Flint was challenged to rise to the concept of having four 
years of college available locally. This idea had interested Mott 
for several years, since President Ruthven of the University of 
Michigan had indicated that the possibility of establishing a 
branch of the university at Flint might receive serious consider- 

ation by those authorized to make such decisions. Mott had 
made the provision of a million dollars in money or land, or a 
combination of both, contingent upon approval of a school 
bond issue by Flint voters. 

A Flint Journal editorial of June 7, 1950, reports the results 
of Flint's vote on the bond issue in glowing terms. 


Flint can feel a bit proud of itself today! Tuesday its citizens 
voted overwhelmingly in favor of the two measures which will 
mean more and better schools for the City's children. 

As a result of that election, Flint will get four new elemen- 
tary schools, additions to several existing schools, a new li- 
brary, a school administration building, and a new college 
which, if certain problems can be worked out, may embrace a 
four-year curriculum. . . . 

The little folk of this community are the principal benefi- 
ciaries of the enlightened balloting which approved this step 
by a margin of almost 4 to 1. 

But the adults of the community will benefit too. Their 
children and their neighbors' children have been guaranteed 
a better opportunity for a better education. Better education 
means better citizens. Better citizens means a better com- 
munity. Better communities mean a better Nation, and a 
better democracy. 

Everybody wins. . . . 

The emphatic approval by voters of a $7-million bond issue 
was the subject of general elation throughout Flint; no new 
schools had been built for twenty years. General Motors and 
the UAW-CIO had recently signed a five-year contract, and 
Flint once more felt the surge of progress; the difference was 
that now Flint looked toward a significant part of that progress 
in the educational-cultural field, improving opportunities and 
the quality of living for its people. It is not possible, of course, 
to know exactly the extent to which the fifteen years of Mott 
Foundation activities and Mott's personal example had 
contributed to this raised level of community vision, but 


certainly Mott and the Foundation had provided the original 
impetus toward Flint's new respect for human values. 

On Wednesday, June 8, 1950, President Ruthven meeting 
with the Flint Advisory Board of the university's Social 
Science Research Project commented on the action of Flint 
voters, "Adoption of the bond issue by Flint citizens means 
more than just making available more funds for education. It 
means a revised and enlarged educational program." Ruthven 
also noted that it would be difficult "to estimate how much not 
only Flint and the State of Michigan but education everywhere 
owes to Mr. Mott." Mott was then asked to comment at the 
meeting. He pointed out the demonstrated desire of Flint people 
to take advantage of additional educational opportunities, as 
shown by ever-increasing enrollment in Foundation classes and 
University of Michigan extension courses. 

But a lot of young people in Flint who would like a regular 
college education do not have the funds to live away from 
home. We of the Foundation thought it would be a fine thing 
to round out Flint's school system by adding two years to our 
Junior College. . . . 

On my return from Bermuda recently, I learned that the 
people of Flint would consider a school bond issue. Because 
of the good feeling created by the signing of the five-year con- 
tract between General Motors and the UAW-CIO, it looked 
as if the bond issue would readily pass. In that proposal was 
$1,600,000 for rebuilding Junior College. I thought it was 
a corking good time to throw in my bit toward a four-year 
college. . . , 

I won't be losing a million dollars as someone told me. I, 
as will the entire community, will gain much through this 
expansion of education. The endeavor can furnish an ex- 
ample to other communities, and we hope some of them will 
copy it 

The university's research project in the Flint area (to which 
the Foundation had contributed support) had found that from 
2,000 to 3,000 Flint-area young people would attend a four- 
year college if one were locally available. Mentioning this 

report, Mott added, "Even if only half the number of estimated 
students were to enroll, it would be worthwhile to provide a 
college education for those wanting one but who couldn't go 
away from home to get it" 

With the tremendous accomplishment of Flint in the field of 
educational-cultural development since 1950, it is perhaps not 
too much to say that Flint is still celebrating Mott's seventy- 
fifth birthday party in the ways that mean most to him. 

All in all, Mott received a remarkable recognition from his 
friends, neighbors, and the whole community . . . recognition 
of the growing fifteen-year contribution of the Foundation to 

community life recognition of the promise of a finer Flint 

inherent in the Foundation's continued efforts and in Mott's 
offer of $1 million toward a four-year college. Perhaps the vote 
of Flint people in favor of the school bond issue was the 
greatest recognition of aU. 

The Mott program showed changes and developments during 
1950, as every year. The top 20 members of Stepping Stone 
Clubs were given a three-day visit to Michael Hamady's estate 
on Mackinac Island in August. Mott Camp, with Lester Ehr- 
bright as director, became a year-around resource, with Flint 
Youth Bureau outdoor excursions planned there after the 
regular camping season. In-service training for teachers 
widening the scope of the visiting-teacher program, under 
direction of Walter S. Holmlund, received national recognition. 

Registration for the fall term of Mott Foundation adult 
education classes exceeded all previous records with 2,200 
people enrolling on the first of four evenings. Mott visited the 
registration center at Central High School the evening of 
September 18, 1950. His diary for the day notes: 

The enrollment was being held in the two gymnasiums on 
second floor, and the queue of those waiting to be registered 
was a file of four wide, and reached as far as front door. And 
the gymnasiums were chuck full of folks. Around the edges 
of the gymnasiums were tables with teachers and volunteers 
making the enrollments in various classes. I found not only 


Miss Dill there, but also Miss Wood from our office and Miss 
Hubner from Building office, a lot of teachers and staff whom 
I already knew, plus a lot more whom I met. The whole thing 
was most inspiring because of the interest and enthusiasm of 
those entering these classes. 

We have been doing this same sort of thing for some years 
past, but this year the enrollment is greater than ever before. 
Tonight was simply the first of four nights for enrollment. It 
doesn't seem possible that there could be as many desiring to 
enroll during the next three nights. . . . 

On October 3, 1950, Mott was asked to make a record! 
of a memory of the old days for a Chevrolet meeting which w 
to be held after he would have left for Bermuda. This is t 
text of the recording: 

NARRATOR: There are some in this room who remember when 
Chevrolet was a sickly child of only nine years, when W. C. 
Durant felt the stock market crash about his ears for the 
second time, and the presidency of General Motors passed 
from Durant to Pierre S. du Pont, who decided to take inven- 
tory of all GM Divisions. Mr. C. S. Mott has been a Director 
of GM since 1913, and was at this time Director of Advisory 
Staff and Supervising Vice President of Car and Truck Di- 
visions of General Motors. Isn't that when the experts wanted 
to close down Chevrolet, Mr. Mott? 

MOTT: Yes, 1920 and 1921 were heartbreaking times. And it 
looked tough for Chevrolet. Ford was outproducing Chevrolet 
ten-to-one, and although Chevrolet sales reached 15,000 in 
1920 the plants in Flint were practically idle by October. In 
1921, Chevrolet sales were cut almost in half. Apparently 
Mr. du Pont employed a firm of consulting engineers to an- 
alyze all divisions. In their report they said Chevrolet could 
not hope "to compete with the market," meaning Ford. They 
recommended Chevrolet be closed out, but Mr. Alfred P. 
Sloan, Jr., urged that Chevrolet be given another chance. On 
February 23, 1922, 1 hired William S. Knudsen as my assist- 
ant, and on March 25, 1922, he was made Production Vice 
President of Chevrolet. It was the turning point. Two years 
later Chevrolet showed a profit of five minimi dollars. 


It was also in 1950 that Mott, with some pangs of nostal 
regret, approved the sale of the farm horses with which 
64 acres in the middle of Flint had, until then, been work 

At the Automobile Old Timers eleventh anniversary dim 
at the Waldorf, in New York City, October 18, Mott \ 
cited for his "long and varied contributions to the automol 
industry and to General Motors Corporation." Mott met mz 
old friends at the meeting, including J. Frank Duryea who w 
Mott notes in his diary, "Chief Engineer of Stevens Dur] 
Auto Company of Chicopee Falls to whom we furnished be 
drive axles back in the early days 1904 on. He is credii 
with building first commercial gasoline cars around 1895, a 
won Chicago auto race back then." 

Mott was first of six to be awarded the Distinguished Serv 
Citation. Bill Holler was Master of Ceremonies a man M 
has always been proud to have hired for General Motors a 
Mott was asked to speak. He began: 

Fellow Old Timers and Guests, I had not expected to be 
called upon, but fearing that I might be I brought along a f e^ 
notes in the way of stories regarding a number of real old 
timers who have passed on to their reward. My first subject is 
William C. Durant, without whom there never would have 
been a General Motors. 

Mott told them about Durant, the master salesman. 
Louis Chevrolet . . . Walter Chrysler . . . and Alec Hardy . 
with stories that were much appreciated by his audience. Spe* 
ing after Mott was his good friend, C. F. Kettering. 

The catalog for the January, 1951, registration for M 
adult education classes listed 266 courses, held at school bui 
ings throughout Flint; enrollments continued to break previc 
records. The board of education's study and research comn 
tee continued to explore ways and means of developing fc 
years of college in Flint, conferring with University of Mi< 
igan officials about the possibility of a branch of the universi 

In May, 1951, Joseph A. Anderson, chairman of the co 
mittee, reported a recommendation to the board that it sugg 


immediate construction of a new Flint Junior College, at 
estimated cost of $2.8 million with the expectation of e 
pansion to four years of college later at an additional cc 
estimated at $1.2 million. It was also suggested that the Ui 
versity of Michigan be asked to operate the third and four 
years of the college. 

The death of William S. Ballenger, one of the pioneers 
the automobile industry, cost Flint one of its finest friends 
recreation and civic enterprise. Ballenger Park, established 1 
Mr. and Mrs. Ballenger in 1935, has been a much enjoy* 
recreation center ever since. His will set up trust funds 
maintain the park, and to set up another park. Other fun< 
were set aside to build a field house on the campus of the ne 
college being planned for Flint. After other specific bequest 
the substantial remainder of his estate was bequeathed 1 
Flint Junior College. The Mott Foundation had worked c< 
operatively with Mr. Ballenger ever since the early recreatic 
programs of 1935 and the trust funds set up by the Balleng< 
will gave further impetus to Flint's developing plans for edua 
tional, cultural, and recreational development. 

The health-achievement program in the schools showe 
great advancement in 1951, with more than half the childre 
in the health-guarded category for the first time. The Four 
dation began operating the Tot Lot program as a separat 
division in 1951, with advisory committees in the area aroun 
each of the seventeen Tot Lot locations. 

A teen-age safe-driving program was another importar 
1951 development; a number of community agencies cc 
operated in developing the plan, with Dr. Myrtle Black, Mol 
Foundation adult education supervisor, as chairman of th 
committee. A parent-child program was initiated, sponsors 
by the Foundation and the schools, with the backing of com 
munity organizations. The first class was attended by almost ; 
thousand parents and teen-age children; four classes were held 
with increasing attendance. Plans were made to continue th( 
program with small classes, and a practice driving area, ii 
the fan, 


The Foundation's budget for the 1951-1952 year was 
$300,000, of which almost one-third was for the health work. 
The adult education program enrolled 11,577 persons in the 
1950-1951 season, and plans were made to accommodate 
even more in the next year, with about 300 courses offered in 
20 centers throughout Flint. 

The death of Alton R. Patterson, assistant director of the 
Mott Foundation program, and director of pupil personnel 
and attendance and child accounting for the Flint public 
schools, was a serious loss to the community. A strong force in 
the complex and arduous work of developing and carrying out 
the Foundation program from its very first days, Patterson was 
one of those quiet, effective men of exceptional ability, judg- 
ment, and loyalty, and real dedication to his work. 

In Flint, the event of the year for Mott, Manley, the board 
of education, the Foundation staff and the public was the 
opening of the Ralph M. Freeman Elementary School, Flint's 
first community school. The concept had been growing fat 
many years; part of it was in Manley's convictions when he 
came to Flint; part of it was in Mott's belief in the fullest use 
of available resources; an aspect of it had been demonstrated 
with the first after-hours utilization of school buildings in Flint 
in 1935; step after step had been taken in the same direction; 
the Fairview School pilot project had taken an unlikely and 
difficult district and turned it into an effective center of com- 
munity development. Now, with the Freeman School Flint* s 
first new school since 1929 a school had been designed func- 
tionally as a community school. 

President George V. Gundry of the board of education 
greeted the audience at the dedication ceremony, describing 
the new school as 

. . . an investment in the American way of life . . . Flint's first 
true community-type school and its first new school in more 
than twenty years. With the help of the Mott Foundation, 
we have shown enviable leadership in the use of schools by 
the whole community. And there is every reason that the 
whole community should use the schools. The community 


builds and furnishes the buildings. It even provides the chil- 
dren to fill them. 

In this building you will have a headquarters for community 
education, where children will come for an education second 
to none, and for training in citizenship. 

Here you will come for education yourselves, and see fine 
plays, hear fine music, and relax in a world that is too full of 

Mott was called upon to speak. He said: 

I am glad to be present at the dedication of this new school 

building, and to congratulate all concerned First, the 

school board . . . second, the public . . . third, the children 
who will come here . . . and finally, myself for the realization 
of what has been my dream for many years. To my mind 
this building embodies the best ideas devised by experience 
and ability, and results in a highly functional and 100 per 
cent efficient center for both education and community use. 
I shall not attempt to enumerate all of the details, other than 
to say that all of the facilities may be used separately, in 
units, or together. I hope you will make a close inspection. 
This is the first completed of four school buildings planned, 
and I am sure that hereafter all schools in Flint will embody 
this idea, and that many other cities will copy us. 

Ralph M. Freeman, for whom the school was named, had 
served on the Flint board of education from 1935 to 1949. A 
Flint attorney, known as a community leader, he was happy to 
be present at the ceremony dedicating the school. 

Thus, the new Freeman Community School demonstrated 
its added facilities on the evening of its dedication. The differ- 
ences in the design, construction, and use of Freeman School 
are described in Flint School Review for December, 1951. 

The building includes eight classrooms, two kindergartens, 
a gymnasium, auditorium, arts and crafts room, a community 
conference room, hallways, lavatories, a health room, teachers 
rest room, storage rooms, offices, and a power plant 

Such statistics are not remarkable in themselves. What is 


remarkable is that this floor space was planned for multi- 
purpose use to meet the varied needs of the community. The 
people who built this school the taxpayers will receive 
almost twice the value from the building and its rooms, 
largely because of planning for its maximum use as both an 
ideal elementary classroom building and a community center. 
Freeman School can be used the day-round and the year- 
round. The building was so designed that it can accommodate 
large or small groups. By cutting off corridors with accordion- 
like wall gates, just the library, just the auditorium, just the 
community conference or arts and crafts rooms, or just the 
gymnasium can be used all without opening up other parts 
of the building. The building is expansible so planned that 
other classrooms, recreational facilities, or even a swimming 
pool can be added. 

The gymnasium is suitable for groups of all sizes. It can be 
used for dancing and social recreation, for festivals, exhibits, 
games for small children, as well as for the customary gymna- 
sium athletics basketball, volleyball, tennis, badminton, 
shuffleboard. It has five badminton courts. 

The auditorium seats 300 on a sloping floor. The seats bor- 
dering the aisles are of different widths 18, 19, and 20 
inches so that along the rows no seat will be directly in 
front of another to obstruct the view of the stage. Both 
children and grown-ups who will use the stage for plays, 
assemblies, movies, and forums, will have access to a work- 
room, dressing and prep rooms. 

The school has a community room which during the school 
day is used as an audio-visual room. It has stoves, cupboards, 
a refrigerator, and comfortable furniture which make PTA 
meetings, Child Study dub gatherings, teacher and parent 
teas, and neighborhood conferences pleasurable and friendly 
affairs. The arts and crafts room is supplied for use by both 
children and adults in painting, ceramics, leatherwork, sew- 
ing, woodcarving, and other hobbies and crafts. 

Kindergarten rooms open to a play area restricted for 
small children. Here their play is not interrupted or hampered 
by older children. 

Bach classroom is self-contained. Each has its own wash- 


room and lavatory for both boys and for girls. This innova- 
tion in school planning does not cost any more than the 
customary "down the hall" lavatory. There are no lockers in 
the hallways since each classroom has its own such facilities. 
Each room has bi-lateral lighting lighting directly or indi- 
rectly from the outside through low windows and glass blocks 
on the upper outside walls. This natural lighting is augmented 
by well-placed fluorescent ceiling light fixtures. Rooms and 
hallway ceilings are of acoustical tile. Classroom and corridor 
drinking fountains are recessed. 

This, then, is the physical plant of a community school. In 
order to make it function effectively as a real community cen- 
ter> William R Minardo, a member of the Foundation staff 
from its first days, was appointed director of the school- 
community program, a position commonly known in the years 
to come as "building director." Actually, the community-school 
building director was to become the key to the community- 
center functions of the community schools coordinating, 
leading, helping in a thousand ways to develop the community 
participation in activities. 

Organization of the Mott Foundation program was chancdng 
through these years, as experience showed better ways of ac- 
complishment. Coordinators of various parts of the program 
were named to assure responsible direction of each aspect of 
the work. Community-school developments were instituted at 
Parkland and Roosevelt schools. At Parkland, the interest of 
the community was in a health and homemaking project com- 
parable to the one which had wrought so great a change for 
the better in the Fairview School community. Buick assisted in 
development of a large park area for community recreational 
purposes at Roosevelt School. Through the youth bureau 
with its ever present evidences of the effects of alcoholism on 
sound family life a beginning was made in a program to 
assist in prevention and cure of alcoholism. 

With regard to the four-years-of-college idea which Mott 
had been pursuing vigorously since Ruthven's mention in 1946 

that the university might consider branches in other cities 
Mott wondered whether the retirement of Ruthven might raise 
a new problem. In May, 1 952, a group of Flint men including 
George V. Gundry, Joseph A. Anderson, Dr. W. Fred Totten, 
S. S. Stewart, Jr., Dr. Mark W. Bills, John M. Barrett, Frank 
J. Manley, and Harding Mott met with the new president of 
the university, Dr. Harlan H. Hatcher, and members of his 
staff. The university agreed to present a plan for operation of 
a four-year college in Flint. Mott had already made available 
32 acres of his property valued at $132,000 as a site. This 
land was part of his home-estate, with large frontage on Court 
Street, and adjoining the Oak Grove campus of the old Flint 
Junior College. The board of education found that sharply 
increasing construction costs threatened the completion of the 
building program planned when the voters of Flint had ap- 
proved the $7-million bond issue in 1950 but the idea of 
having a full four years of college in Flint never lost momen- 
tum. The board decided to proceed with junior college con- 
struction; under the terms of the Ballenger will, funds had been 
made available for building a field house, and Mott agreed to 
make available the million dollars he had pledged so that a 
science building could be constructed. 

In July, 1 952, Dr. Hatcher consulted Mott on a proposal the 
university was considering submitting to Flint with regard to 
conditions of affiliation to provide four years of college. Mott 
felt that some of the elements of the proposal were rather un- 
reasonable particularly in relation to arrangements on land 
which Mott had agreed to deed to the Flint Board of Education 
"with provision that they cannot dispose of it otherwise than 
back to the Foundation." Also, Mott felt some provisions of the 
proposal would conflict with terms of the Ballenger will to the 
disadvantage of the college development Mott told Hatcher 
that the committee named by the board of education had 
decided to make a return proposal to the university, embodying 
suggested means of proceeding with the college plans. Mott 
notes in his diary: "We had a very pleasant talk and I am quite 


sure that Dr. Hatcher took no offense at what I said, and, as a 
matter of fact, I think he agreed with me." 

On July 29, 1952, Mott deeded the 32 acres of his land to 
the Foundation, and then, acting for the Foundation, "gave 
and conveyed this property to the Flint Board of Education 
with the provision that it shall be used only for educational 
purposes and not otherwise disposed of." 

Just when the Mott program adult education classes were 
opening in 1952, Time magazine printed an article about Mott 
and the Foundation, calling Mott, "Mr. Flint," and beginning 
with a 1952 incident: 

. . . two small boys invaded Mott's office to complain that 
lie Park Department could not afford to keep the city swim- 
ming pools open in August. Mott immediately decided to 
foot the bill. "We are," says he, "a last-resort organization." 

Today, with more than $20 million in stocks and real 
estate (the Foundation owns at least one bank and four de- 
partment stores), the Foundation can afford to do quite a bit 
of last-resorting. But that is only the start of its work. By its 
alliance with the Board of Education, the Foundation has 
turned the schools into neighborhood centers, given hundreds 
of teachers a chance to earn extra money, and made Flint 
more community-conscious than ever before. 

At 77, Charles Mott, a director of General Motors since 
1913, chairman of the board of U.S. Sugar Corp., and mem- 
ber of innumerable organizations (e.g., American Legion, 
United Spanish War Veterans, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, 
Elks, Moose, Masons), still works hard at his goal. He pops 
into his paneled office every working day, keeps it filled with 

fresh flowers and humming with fresh ideas "We must 

build back to community activities," says Mott, "to get peo- 
ple to know their neighbors and bring about a wholesome, 
small-town atmosphere in a big city." 

When plans for the junior college science building were 
drawn up, the estimated cost was $1,557,000. Mott agreed to 
increase his original gift of a million dollars by the additional 
$557,000 rather than to have the plans reduced to a less 

adequate building. The board of education announced that the 
name of the new building would be the Charles Stewart Mott 
Community Center of Science and Arts. 

Two other new community schools were dedicated in 1952: 
the John L. Pierce School and the Ernest W. Potter School 
both built with the same concept as the Freeman School to be 
real centers of community life. Dr. Spencer W. Myers, Flint's 
new superintendent of schools, took part in the dedication 
ceremonies of the new schools, expressing his increasing pride 
in association with Flint schools. At the Potter School cere- 
mony, he said, "The building will never be anything but con- 
crete and mortar, but it is the reflection of the dream of Thomas 
Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton that men should be free to 
develop to their own greatest capacity and that this can best 
be accomplished through public education." 

On December 4, 1952, Mott and a group of other Flint men 
met with Dr. Hatcher and other University of Michigan rep- 
resentatives. Mott pointed out that the junior college was well 
under way, and that he had not lost interest in an additional 
last two years of college by the university, and that "we were 
prepared to help finance any additional buildings in case they 
were needed and the School Board unable to do the financing 
. . . that we thought well of higher education, and what we are 
most tremendously interested in was the upgrading of Flint 
folks call it education or anything else you want. We do not 
argue about that, but we propose to give Flint folks an op- 
portunity to learn various trades, professions, etc., along any 
lines they want as long as it enables them to live happier and 
more prosperous lives." President Hatcher assured Mott of the 
university's continued interest in the possibilities of a branch in 

A December 22, 1952, entry in Mott's diary has a title line: 


Some months ago our husky fourteen-year-old son, Stew- 
art, bigger, taller, and heavier than his father, asserting his 


strength on the mixing valve in his bathroom, broke the 
handle off. Local plumber was unable to get it replaced and 
make repairs, and finally was instructed to put in a new 
mixing valve, and I have just received the bill for same. The 
valve alone cost $22.50, and the cost of installation, etc., at 
$4.00 per hour, brought the cost up to $100.00. 

Now, the economic question which I bring to your atten- 
tion is as follows: 

I pay tax of 90% on my income, thus in order to acquire 
$100 with which to pay this particular plumber's bill, I have to 
receive from General Motors $1,000.00 (on which I pay tax 
of $900.00, leaving $100.00 with which to pay the bill). 

Furthermore, in order to pay me $1,000 in dividends, Gen- 
eral Motors has to earn $4,000.00 before they pay income 
tax. As check on this let me say that G.M.'s earnings before 
income tax equals 19.90% of sales, and G.M. Dividends for 
1951 equalled 6.75% of sales, which is practically % of the 

From this you will note that liquidation of expense caused 
by Stewart's breaking the handle off the mixing valve required 
an earning of $4,000 before taxes by G.M., which should be 
a lesson in economics and a warning against using too much 
strength on plumbing fixtures. 

This particular item from Mott's diary was utilized in 
Newsweek by Henry Hazlitt (for whom Mott has always had 
high regard). 

The Mott family's 1952 Christmas cards must have been 
mailed early, because Pierre S. du Pont wrote Mott a letter 
of acknowledgment eight days before Christmas. On Novem- 
ber 30, 1920, du Pont had somewhat reluctantly accepted the 
presidency of General Motors to lend the prestige and con- 
servative strength of his name, character, and experience to the 
corporation in those troubled times when the whole structure 
was threatened. By mid-1922, the financial position of General 
Motors had been improved vastly, and an internal reorgan- 
ization had improved operations to a remarkable degree. With 
the restoration of confidence, stability, and an advantageous 

financial position for General Motors accomplished, Pierre S. 
du Pont retired as president May 10, 1923, to be succeeded 
by Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. 

The letter which Pierre S. du Pont wrote to Mott just 
before Christmas in 1952 gives a glimpse of those dramatic 
events thirty years before, and a suggestion of the importance 
of Mott's part in them. 

December 17, 1952 
Mr. Charles S. Mott, 

500 Mott Foundation Bldg., 

Flint, Michigan 
Dear Stewart: 

Your Christmas cards are always a source of enjoyment, as 
they give some news of you and your surroundings. Since you 
sent your first card, the children have changed much. They 
are a fine trio but they may be disappointed to learn that I do 
not share their love for dogs. Those in the picture seem well 
placed and happy. 

I have thought of you a great deal during recent weeks on 
account of the Du Pont lawsuit, which started trial in Chicago 
in November. The recount of historical events in General 
Motors brought you frequently to mind my mind. You were 
a tower of strength during the Durant debacle. Without you, 
Sloan, and Bassett, the company could not have pulled 
through. Your energy and sincere belief in the company did 
much to win over the bankers, who held the reins but were 
glad to give way to those worthy of handling them. I wish 
that you and Sloan would write up General Motors in the 
early days. The Du Pont side of the case has been pretty well 
covered during the lawsuit to which it has been subjected. 
Perhaps the writing has not been very readable but very many 
cold, hard facts have been set forth which all redound to your 

My best wishes for a happy Christmas to you and to your 
wife and family. 

Sincerely yours, 
Pierre S. du Pont 


Oil January 13, 1953, Mott replied to du Font's letter. 
Mott's consistent loyalty to General Motors, his concern for 
better methods and products, and his care to disclaim any 
credit he felt he did not entirely deserve, are particularly 
evident in his reply. 

January 12, 1953 
Mr. Pierre S. du Pont 
Wilmington, Delaware 

Dear Pierre: 

Your kind letter of December 17th was duly received, and 
we are complimented by your interest in our cards and family. 

Regarding Chicago lawsuit, it was a great surprise to me, 
for though I occupied an important executive position in the 
*20*s, I was not aware of any so-called "pressure.** Certainly 
the du Ponts never even asked my help. 

I personally "pressured" Buick and Cadillac, and secured 
an executive wire from Sloan to Cadillac ordering them to 
comply with dealers* orders when the dealers specified Duco, 
and Hannum and I put up a job whereby we could get Fisher 
to two-tone Duco Oakland closed cars. This pressure did not 
come from du Pont Company, but from car dealers who were 
disgusted with the terribly bad paint and varnish finish. 

Although I have always had and will continue to have 
the most kindly feelings toward the du Pont family, who have 
done so much to help General Motors Corporation and its 
personnel, my efforts on Duco were self -started by me for the 
benefit of General Motors product. I should have been un- 
grateful if I refused to help my friends, but such was never 
asked of me, and was not the reason for my condemning paint 
and varnish in favor of Duco. The difference in the results 
spoke for itself. 

Originally the Fishers opposed Duco, and it was by above 
method that we got it across, and a few years ago one of the 
Fishers said to me, "C.S., our use of Duco was one of the 
greatest things that ever happened to General Motors," and he 
was right. 

Together with my late friend George Hannum I will accept 
responsibility of above. 


As to other matters which you mention, you overcompli- 
ment me. I did what I could in the '20's when our various 
divisions were not co-operative, and at times without good 
leadership. Fortunately, with Sloan's patient leadership and 
organizing ability, there came through a group of young and 
able men to take over what the older men, of whom I was 
one, were glad to give up. Today we have a wealth of com- 
petent men in General Motors a lot of them whose ability 
is enough for any job in General Motors or elsewhere. How 
they acquired all of this ability staggers me, but they have it, 
and you and I feel very happy that what the du Fonts put 
their shoulder to is now the healthiest outfit in the country. 

I have carefully inspected the new models, and am sure 
that you will be proud of their acceptance by the public. 

Again let me thank you for your letter, and tell you how 
happy I am to have your friendship and that of the du Fonts. 

With best wishes, 

C. S. Mott 



All the regular Mott Foundation activities kept growing, and 
there were always new developments . . . teen clubs . . . chil- 
dren's drama classes ... a program for older people . . . the 
driver-training program. MaiJey, in speaking to a Foundation 
staff meeting, reaffirmed basic principles, and emphasized the 
tradition of continuous adaptability of the Foundation re- 
minding everyone that "Everything the program is doing or has 
done is the result of a specific thing that needed to be done. 
If any organization in Flint can take over what we are doing, 
we'll get right out of it and put our efforts to new tasks." 

On March 31, Mott turned the first sod on his former Court 
Street property in a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the 
beginning of construction of the new Mott Science Building. 
A Freeman School "open house'* in April demonstrated to all 
Flint how a community school was actually being used by the 
families of the area surrounding it. Some 2,500 persons were 
already active there in more than twenty-five groups and organ- 
izations . . . Brownies, Cubs, Scouts, PTA, Freeman Men's 
Class, Mott Foundation classes, basketball leagues, Flint Com- 
munity Players, square dancing groups, teen-age clubs, and 

In addition to being Mott's seventy-eighth birthday, June 2, 
1953, was voting day in Flint and Flint citizens approved an 
additional tax of 5 mills for school purposes for ten years, 
estimated to raise about $20 million, permitting construction of 
more community schools and taking care of operational costs. 
The vote was about 68 per cent in favor of the increase. Two 
days later, the Flint Journal announced: 

The community-center program now financed largely by the 
Mott Foundation in Flint's three new school buildings will 
be extended into every area of the City. 


C. S. Mott, originator and president of the Foundation, 
has informed the Board of Education that every school be- 
coming a community-center type building either a new 
one to be built or an old one to be remodeled wiH be offered 
a community-school program. 

Mr. Mott predicted "a great future for Flint" on the heels 
of passage by the voters Tuesday of a $20,000,000 tax levy 
for the City's schools. 

And the Foundation, Mr. Mott said, expects to assume its 
full share of responsibility in providing financial resources 
for development. 

The Foundation is spending $370,000 for education, rec- 
reation, health, and character-building through the schools 
in the current year. This is besides capital gifts. While the 
Mott program expansion undoubtedly will be keyed to the 
school expansion now permitted by the tax increase, some 
informed persons see its annual cost as reaching $500,000 
soon. . . . 

With funds available to the school board through the new 
tax source, four to six new schools will be built and existing 
ones remodeled, enlarged, or facilities improved. The Founda- 
tion does not yet know how many additional community- 
center programs will be set up, but enough are being planned 
in old as well as new sections so that they will be in reach of 
all Flint residents. 

What program will be offered at those strategically located 
buildings will be determined largely by requests of persons in 
the areas. Teen-age clubs, athletic programs for young and 
old, dramatics, adult education, crafts, and family events 
have proven popular in the Freeman, Potter, and Pierce neigh- 

Because of overwhelming support in these areas for the 
tax levy, the community center programs were seen to be 
one of the deciding factors in Tuesday's election. Flint has 
been cited far and wide for its new-type schools and pro- 

Mr. Mott said Tuesday's vote was w a vote of confidence in 
the present school board. The people showed they approved 
of the board and what it has done. They also put the board 


under an obligation to carry out what the people have voted 

The new community-center programs and whatever other 
projects may be developed and to which the Foundation gives 
support will be formulated by the Co-ordinating Committee 
of the Board of Education and the Mott Foundation. Mem- 
bers of the committee are appointed by the board. The com- 
mittee is constituted of board members and persons selected 
from the community. 

"The Foundation's budget has increased each year,** Mr. 
Mott said. "We never have yet turned down a budget pro- 
posed by the Co-ordinating Committee.** 

On June 8, 1953, a devastating tornado struck Flint, causing 
many deaths and injuries, and destruction of many homes. 
Mott's daughter Susan happened to be in the tornado area at 
the time, and had a narrow escape. Dr. Tuuri, of the Mott 
Children's Health Center, devoted countless hours to the care 
of children injured in the tornado, and the whole community 
rallied to assist stricken neighbors. A little later, a movement 
was instituted to help rebuild homes destroyed in the tornado, 
and Saturday and Sunday, August 29 and 30 were set for 
Flint's community good turn, "Operation Tornado." An entry 
from Mott's diary for August 29, 1953, follows. 

I drove up to the North End to Coldwater Road, which 
is about six miles North of the City Hall, and one mile be- 
yond City Limits. There, in accordance with instructions 
received, I drove East on Coldwater Road to 1189 and joined 
Project No. 6 of "Operation Tornado,*' and got started on 
the work at one o'clock. I was given an official tag and an 
A. F. of L. Federation card and immediately started in nail- 
ing sheathing on the newly erected uprights of a house that 
had been pretty much destroyed by the tornado. I was 
equipped with a carpenter's apron with pockets for 8 and 10 
penny nails, and as requested had brought my hammer with 
me, and for three hours I worked on sheathing the back and 
side of house. Believe me, the weather was hot. At the end 
of three hours, the handle of the hammer had somewhat 


loosened the skin on my right hand, but had not yet come to 
a blister, and after three hours without sitting down, I real- 
ized there was a lot of difference in my general physical condi- 
tion at 78 from what it was 20 years ago when Harding and I 
worked for three weeks, sun-up to sun-down, at Camp Verde 
on both masonry and carpentry on a ranch house. However, 
four o'clock was official quitting time and I had just enough 
strength left to drive home where I had a bath, a big orange- 
lemon drink, and an hour's rest. 

Much was made of this incident in the way of national 
publicity, and there may very well have been skeptical souls 
who considered Mott's work on "Operation Tornado" as a 
gesture. It was a taken-for-granted act of good-neighborliness 
to help where help was needed; Mott has always felt a personal 
responsibility to have a literal hand in what needs to be done, 
and if the hand has been somewhat blistered in the process he 
has accepted that, too. His work in "Operation Tornado'' was 
not a stunt but a self-imposed obligation fulfilled just as the 
work of his son, Harding, and grandson, Harding, Jr., on the 
same project on the following day was taken for granted by 
these younger Motts. 

In September, 1953, the Mott Foundation financed and 
gave to the Flint Board of Education a new voice to reach the 
community its own FM radio station, WFBE, with an ex- 
cellent staff directed by Miss Ola Hiller. Enrollment for adult 
education and recreation classes broke all previous records. 
Parent-teacher association membership also reached an im- 
pressive high of 16,835 suggesting the increased sense of 
community participation awakened in Flint. The eighth Annual 
Flint Folk Festival at the IMA Auditorium a widely enjoyed 
extravaganza of square dancing with Harold Bacon as master 
of ceremonies drew tremendous interest, and a crowd of 

In December, a new pilot project was announced by the 
board of education in which an attempt would be made to 
meet the problem of "ninth-grade dropout" from school by 


combining practical work experience with academic training 
for boys attracted more to building-trades than to regular high 
school studies. 

Volume of adult evening school class registrations increased 
so greatly that 398 courses were offered for the winter term 
beginning February 1, 1954, in 33 centers throughout Flint. 
Twenty-five of the courses were new including a thirteen- 
week course called, 'The United Nations What's In It For 
Me?" presented to the whole community over a local radio 
station, WFDF, with supplementary printed materials fur- 
nished to those who registered. The course received an im- 
pressive enrollment by mail, and was spoken of with some 
enthusiasm by Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt in her daily news- 
paper column. 

Flint's fourth community school, the Gyles E. Merrill 
School, was dedicated February 3, 1954. A few days later 
Mott received a distinguished service award from the Michigan 
Congress of Parents and Teachers. He also received a salute 
from the student body of Flint Junior College as part of the 
first honors convocation on the new campus and a few days later 
he received a Saginaw County distinguished service award 
from the Saginaw County Board of Supervisors, "for generous 
contributions to Saginaw County Hospital for research in the 
field of tuberculosis." 

In 1954, Manley set forth an evaluation of Mott Foun- 
dation work in accordance with a policy of periodic exami- 
nation of the program, plans, and operations to determine 
how well they measured up by the best available yardsticks. 
Manley's report begins: 

1. Has the Mott Foundation Program helped the City of 
Flint to become a better community, with better and happier 
homes and better and happier children and adults? Has the 
Foundation in any way relieved or excused the community 
from making every effort to "pull itself up by its own boot- 
straps" or, on the contrary, has it "primed the pump" to re- 
lease individual and community energies, abilities, and good 
will for the benefit of all? 


2. How does the Mott Foundation Program, in its philosophy, 
purposes, plans, and operations measure up to the recom- 
mendations of the country's leading authorities in the field? 

To establish a background for answering the questions, 
Manley reviews the social history of Flint up to the beginnings 
of the Foundation program in 1935. He illustrates the pump- 
priming function of the Foundation's work by showing the 
tremendous increases both in funds for civic and educational 
accomplishment and in membership in such community 
agencies as the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts; and YMCA. 

For measurement against established educational yardsticks, 
Manley matches specific Foundation policies, functions, and 
activities against recommendations of the recognized author- 
ities in the field. He is able to demonstrate how the Foundation 
meets each recommendation. Not only is the Foundation a 
stimulus to other community improvement developments, 
but it places emphasis on prevention and education . . . ven- 
tures into new and exploratory fields, taking the initiative 
rather than merely applying patching plaster . . . provides cap- 
ital for experiments which cannot currently be financed by 
public funds . . . actually gets things done in everyday, down- 
to-earth practice . . . concentrates on selection of personnel 
with dedication, creative initiative, and human warmth as well 
as outstanding excellence in knowledge and techniques . . . 
makes provision for wise and responsible administration . . . 
does its work in its own community . . . makes use of existing 
facilities . . . adapts programs to what people really want and 
need. Each of these things the Foundation does is in accord- 
ance with the recommendations of those whose opinions are 
most respected in the field of theory and practice in the oper- 
ation of foundations. Exactly how the Foundation fulfills these 
recommendations is well-documented in Manley's thorough 
review and evaluation of the work of the program from 1935 
to 1954. 

In July, 1954, Mott was pleased to be able to honor Manley 
by presenting to the board of education a check for $188,810 
for construction of an indoor swimming pool at Northern 


High School, the pool to be named for Frank J. Manley. The 
Mott Foundation Co-ordinating Committee had recommended 
the construction of the pool, reporting, "There is general agree- 
ment that all physically fit young people should have an op- 
portunity to learn to swim and become acquainted with water 
When he received the recommendation, Mott replied, 

For a number of years Frank Manley has talked to us, off 
and on, about the great need for such a facility not simply 
on the basis of pleasure or sports, but to teach a lot more 
folks to swim. 

Our daily papers contain a list of too many people who 
have drowned due to not knowing how to swim when a little 
training would have saved their lives. We were told that of the 
young men entering the United States Navy during the last 
war only 15 per cent knew how to swim. That was a very 
poor record. 

Each year at Mott Camp at least 650 boys partake of 
swimming instruction. The experience has been that all but 
about 1 per cent of those attending are able to swim before 
leaving camp. This is a dividend they receive in addition to 
healthy exercise, sport, and pleasure. 

The Mott Foundation is glad to be able to grant your re- 
quest; and because the idea of the project originated with 
Frank J. Manley, and in further recognition of his many 
other unselfish contributions to the advancement and welfare 
of the citizens of Flint, we desire that this pool bear his name. 

With adult education classes beginning in late September, 
494 classes were offered; advanced registration totaled more 
than 10,000. The Foundation budget for 1954-1955 exceeded 

November 23, 1954, was a day of celebration in Flint in 
honor of the production of the 50 millionth General Motors 
automobile. As part of the day's ceremonies, the new Harlow 
H. Curtice Community College Building was dedicated at the 
Junior College. In the course of a speech, Curtice announced 
that General Motors would contribute $3 million toward Flint's 


college and cultural development. He identified the contribu- 
tion as a Flint centennial project, in honor of the coming year, 
when Flint would celebrate its hundredth anniversary as a city. 
Among other things that Curtice said were the following: 

The science and arts building, now nearing completion, 
will be dedicated to Charles Stewart Mott. This very campus 
you owe to his generosity. The Mott Foundation has a nation- 
wide reputation for its accomplishments. 

One of the pioneers of our industry, Stewart Mott was long 
active in the management of General Motors and is the oldest 
in tenure on our Board of Directors. I cherish his friendship 
and staunch support. 

Flint is a better city in which to live as a result of his gen- 

Flint is a growing and prosperous community. General 
Motors is happy to have contributed to this prosperity through 
its own growth. We recognize, too, that the support of the 
citizens of Flint has had a great deal to do with the growth 
and prosperity of General Motors. 

The Flint college and cultural center project was launched 
beginning with a $12-million goal for Flint's centennial year. 
Plans at that time called for construction of a 3,000-seat audi- 
torium, a transportation and historical museum, an art center, 
a theater, a carillon, and a planetarium. Michael Gorman, 
editor of the Flint Journal, made the college and cultural devel- 
opment the central focus of his endeavors, and many other 
Flint people were inspired by the good beginnings Flint was 
making in improving the quality of opportunity in education 
and the arts for the whole community. The community-school 
concept had taken hold, and was being directed into levels of 
higher education. 

In December, Mott was appointed General Chairman of the 
Michigan White House Conference on Education, scheduled 
for the next May. Late in December, it was announced that on 
January 11, 1955, President Eisenhower would confer the 
International Big Brother of the Year Award on Mott, "for his 


oustanding work with the Flint Youth Bureau and for broad 
humanitarian endeavor." Mott had been chosen for the award 
by the board of directors of the Big Brothers of America. 

On January 10, Mr. and Mrs. Mott, Frank J. Manley, 
George V. Gundry, Dr. Harold W. Woughter (chairman of 
the Mott Foundation Coordinating Committee), Everett A. 
Cummings (school board president), Woodrow W. Skaff 
(Flint Youth Bureau president), Joseph T. Ryder (Flint Youth 
Bureau director), and Gerald H. Rideout were flown to Wash- 
ington. Mott telephoned Mrs. Arthur Summerfield, who told 
him that Postmaster General Summerfield would be with the 
party at the White House. The next morning, the party made a 
tour of the official rooms of the White House, then walked out- 
side and around to the north-west gate, where they entered at 
11:30 A.M. Mott records the proceedings in his diary for the 

We met a large group of folks. I presume the whole party 
numbered as many as 40 and included Senator Potter and 
Congressman Dondero of Michigan, Eddie Rickenbacker, and 
others. At 12:30 we all filed into President Eisenhower's 
private office where the President was standing at his desk, 
and batteries of photographers, movie and still, were all ready 
for us. 

The Postmaster General took me up to the President and 
introduced me, remarking to the President that I was his first 
employer and that President Eisenhower was his last and 
at both places his job was carrying the mail. 

After hand-shaking, a framed Big Brother Award was 
handed to the President by Mr. Berwind, and the President 
read the inscription and handed the award to me with an- 
other handshake, and then a talk lasting not over two minutes. 
I accepted the award on behalf of over one-thousand associ- 
ates in Flint who were, I said, the ones who really did the 
work and deserved the award. In Flint, with a population of 
165,000, we have 600 Big Brothers, each with a boy to look 
after, and probably at least another 600 folks working in 
social agencies and other program activities all very helpful 
to the Big Brother movement And I finished by saying, "Mr. 


President, we think you are the biggest Big Brother of all." 
And for some unaccountable reason that last remark seemed 
to make a great hit, not only with the President, but with the 
men of the press who were present. More pictures were taken 
with the President shaking hands with me, and my receiving 
the award, and the party was over. 

The President appeared in excellent health and spirits and 
extremely affable and agreeable. He certainly has a wonder- 
ful personality. I must not forget to say that before I left the 
room I introduced Joe Ryder to the President, and Joe gave 
him a box of trout flies which had been tied by the boys in 
his organization, and the President, being a trout fisherman, 
seemed to be very pleased. 

The reference which Postmaster General Arthur E. Summer- 
field, of Flint, made to Mott as his first employer, and "carry- 
ing the mail" was an allusion to the fact that Summerfield's 
first job was as an errand boy at the Weston-Mott Company 
where his duties had included carrying the mail around to the 
various offices. 

Newspaper accounts of the Big Brother Award give addi- 
tional details of the ceremony. As reported by William F. 
Pyper, of the Flint Journal Washington Bureau, President 
Eisenhower said, with reference to the citation on the award 
scroll, "I'm going to read this because I like it." He read: 

To Charles Stewart Mott in recognition of your humani- 
tarianism in supporting youth programs in Flint, Michigan, 
which has provided a pattern for other communities to fol- 
low: Big Brothers of America, Inc., United States and Canada, 
proudly name you Big Brother of the Year 1954. 

Your leadership and labors in the public interest and your 
services in behalf of the youth of Flint point to the value of 
private philanthropy in stimulating communities to greater 
responsibilities for their welfare, and are in keeping with the 
highest traditions and aims of the Big Brother movement. 

The giving of yourself, your heart, and your concern to 
this cause is a source of lasting pride to every big and little 
brother in America. 


The winter adult education program offered Flint a choice 
of 524 courses at 39 centers. Students who wished to do so 
could follow a planned curriculum to accomplish definite ob- 
jectives; appointment of coordinators in major fields of adult 
education made possible the development of sequences of 
courses in related fields. Dr. Myrtle F. Black, adult education 
supervisor, received a distinguished service award from the 
Flint PTA Council for her contributions to Flint's educational 

Mott received an unusual and deeply appreciated honor on 
January 25, 1955. His diary describes it: 

Lunched with Harding and Roy at Elks. At 2:00, with 
previous notice, four American Federation of Labor men 
arrived, also a reporter and a couple of photographers. The 
men were Walter Heddy, President of AFL Painters Local 
1052, Ralph Welborn, Secretary, Jack Niles, Business Agent, 
and O. J. Lilies, Vice President. The AFL man made a speech 
and told me that as the Union Card which they had given me 
a year ago had expired, they now presented me with an 
honorary life membership in the AFL Union. This because, 
not only of my participation in the tornado re-building opera- 
tion, but also the Foundation program work for the people of 
Flint. I accepted the membership card with pleasure and told 
the men something of my own feelings in regard to things 
in general and what we are trying to accomplish in the 
Foundation program, all of which seemed to be pleasing to 
the men. 

On the following day, Motfs diary mentions ". . . action of 
the University of Michigan Board of Regents in favor of op- 
erating a third and fourth year of college classes here in Flint, 
which would be in building provided by local capital." Mott 
had been working for such a decision for almost ten years, 
and he mentions that Michael A. Gorman had been devoting 
special efforts and activities to achieving the same end. 

On February 1, Mott went to Lansing to carry out his 
function as chairman of the Michigan White House Conference 
on Education. His diary entry for the day records this incident: 

I was presented to the assemblage by Dr. Clair L. Taylor, 
Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction, and it was up 
to me to introduce Governor G. Mennen Williams, who sat 
alongside of me during the luncheon. 

After making some remarks regarding educational, health, 
and recreational work being done in Flint, I said to the 
audience, "It is now my job to introduce the Governor. Last 
night I said to my wife that I would introduce him in the fol- 
lowing manner And she said, 'Oh, no. Don't do 

that! He might not like it.' This morning I told Dr. Taylor 
of my conversation with my wife, and he said, 'Go ahead 
and do it.' " At which point the audience roared with laughter. 
Williams being a Democrat and Taylor being a Republican, 
the audience imagined all sorts of tilings, and this is it: "It 
seems strange that I should have to introduce Governor Wil- 
liams, for if there is any person in the room, or in the State 
of Michigan who has not had his hand shaken by him, it is 
not the Governor's fault." That brought the house down. 

On the following day (although this does not presuppose 
any connection between the two events), State Senator Gar- 
land B. Lane, Flint Democrat, sponsored a concurrent resolu- 
tion of commendation which cleared both houses of Michigan's 
Legislature commending Mott's "contributions made through- 
out the years." 

It was a season of honors for Mott; on February 12, at 
Founder's Day ceremonies beginning Michigan State College's 
centennial year, Mott was presented with a centennial award, 
thoughtfully inscribed. The award was especially gratifying to 
Mott because of his exceptional regard for Dr. John A. Han- 
nah, president of Michigan State. 

A diary entry of February 15 makes reference to another 
man for whom Mott has always had exceptional regard: Dr. 
Arthur L. Tuuri, Director of the Mott Foundation Children's 
Health Center. 

Up at 6:30 and drove to Northern High School to attend 
one of Frank Manley's staff meetings with about 40 present, 
including Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Tuuri. He heads our Health 
Operations and Clinic for children, and has been called to 


service in the Army for 2 or 3 years, and is leaving shortly. 
The breakfast party this morning included a few talks telling 
him what we thought of him. I was delighted to present him 
with a Retina camera, going-away gift from the staff, while 
Mrs. Tuuri received an orchid, which she said was her first. 
I just want to say in the diary what I said this morning 
that Dr. Tuuri is undoubtedly the finest head of our Health 
Operation that we have ever had or ever could get ... and 
we certainly will not listen to anything other than plans for 
him to return here when he is finished with the Army work. 

On March 24, 1955, Mott went to Lansing to testify at a 
hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee of the 
state legislature, relating to a bill being considered to appro- 
priate $37,000 to the University of Michigan to plan proposed 
operation of a third and fourth year of college to be carried 
on by the University of Michigan in Flint. Mott made a strong 
presentation of the case for a Flint branch, and indicated the 
willingness of the Foundation to make available another $1 
million for a building. University of Michigan officials and the 
Flint men attending offered further testimony on the advan- 
tages of the project. 

Special honors kept coming to Mott including a citation 
from the Metropolitan Club of Stevens Institute of Technology, 
an award certificate from the Flint Chapter of the American 
Red Cross, and a certificate of merit and life membership from 
the American Legion. Mott began to become somewhat self- 
conscious about all the awards being conferred, when as he 
notes in his diary "All that I am trying to do is to enjoy my- 
self by improving things in Flint." 

The City of Flint was celebrating its hundredth birthday 
with a year-long centennial observance, and Mott, who had 
shared exactly half of Flint's first century, was eighty years 
old on June 2, 1955. The impetus imparted to Flint in the 
direction of educational and cultural development was pick- 
ing up momentum impressively. Two former Weston-Mott 
men, Robert Longway and F. A. Bower, were co-chairmen of 
the college and cultural development devoting their very 

considerable talents, energies, and resources to the great cen- 
tennial project. The Michigan legislature had passed the bill 
providing for University of Michigan studies and plans leading 
to establishment of a branch of the University in Flint to offer 
third and fourth years of college. Sponsors of the college and 
cultural development were coming forward with increasing 
frequency, with contributions of $25,000 or more toward 
completion of the ambitious plans. Mott deeded an additional 
6-and-a-fraction acres of land to the board of education from 
his estate in the college area, "for use as an athletic field or 
such other purposes as you may desire." Just five years after 
Mott's seventy-fifth birthday party at the IMA Auditorium 
at which he had pledged $1 million the building constructed 
with that money (plus an additional $557,000 Mott had added 
to his contribution) was ready to be dedicated and Mott had 
offered another $1 million toward construction of buildings for 
the University of Michigan in Flint. 

This, then, was the background for Mott's eightieth-birthday 
party, in the midst of Flint's centennial year. The party was 
held June 2, on the campus which, until a short time before, 
had been part of Mott's farm-in-the-middle-of-Flint. In the 
course of an impressive dedication program, Mott made formal 
presentation of the new Charles Stewart Mott Community 
Center of Science and Applied Arts saying, in effect, "Boys, 
here it is." Presiding at the program was Dr. Harold W. 
Woughter, former member of the board of education, and im- 
mediate past president of the Mott Co-ordinating Committee. 
Dr. Spencer W. Myers, superintendent of schools, made formal 
acceptance of the new junior college building for the people of 
Flint. Mott's presentation talk reviewed the community-school 
development from elementary schools to this new college 
building, noting of the new Mott Science and Applied Arts 
Building that, "The board laid out the building so it can be 
used to teach trades and occupations, and at the same time it 
can be a valuable adjunct to the junior college and to the 

Dr. Woughter utilized one of Mott's own phrases in men- 


tioning that Mott, for twenty years, had been "upgrading the 
quality of living" in Flint by providing funds for education and 

From the dedication of a completed building, Mott walked 
across the campus to grasp a shovel and break the ground for 
the new University of Michigan building which he had agreed 
to provide; President Hatcher of the University shared the dig- 
ging in this symbolic groundbreaking. 

Next, the big birthday party moved into BaHenger Field 
House, where some 1,200 people were present for the birthday 
dinner. In his diary for the day, Mott notes: 

We had a very fine dinner and the program went off beauti- 
fully. Speeches, messages, and tributes to me were very touch- 
ing. Ivan Wiles presented to me a most magnificent book which 
must measure 30 by 24 inches, filled with large hand-painted 
scenes of various incidents in my life since our program was 
started. Also, I was presented with a very large and beautiful 
Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America. Another 
item of memory: At each table there had been left a card 
which each person at the table signed and these cards were 
collected and bound in a book which was presented to me; 
thus I have the signature record of everybody who was on 
hand this evening. 

Mrs. Mott was presented with a beautiful bouquet of red 
roses by the Stepping Stone girls. 

I had prepared no speech. It was just as well that I did 
not, for nothing that I might have prepared would have been 
exactly appropriate. I undertook to thank everybody who had 
participated in any way in all of the proceedings of the day, 
and especially those on the Board of Education and their 
staff for co-operation in our program work, without which we 
could have had no success whatever. Then I commented on 
and expressed appreciation of Frank Manley and his able 
and efficient staff. 

I also praised Roy Brownell and Harding, who have done 

such good work for us in the Foundation. Then I told about 

getting the original idea of a University of Michigan Branch 

in Flint from Dr. Ruthven about 9 years ago, which I was 


unable to get across until Mike Gorman got behind the 
project, and he and Dutch Bower and Bob Longway put 
across the Cultural Center project and sold the idea to a 
large group of Sponsors who each donated $25,000 or more. 
It was quite apparent that the matter had been put up to them 
in such a way that they really wanted to make the contribu- 

When I got through my talk, the Junior College A Capella 
Choir took over, and while they were singing, Dr. Hatcher, 
together with six Regents present and a number of Uni- 
versity of Michigan faculty members, retired and put on 
academic gowns and caps. When singing was over, they 
marched into the main room where the Convocation was 
held, and President Hatcher conferred on me a Degree of 
Doctor of Laws. I was given a diploma, and proper scarf was 
hung about my neck . . . 

At the close, all hands joined in singing Michigan's Anthem, 
"Yellow and Blue." Before I could get away I rtrinfr more 
than half of the folks present crowded up front and shook 
hands with me, complimented me, and showered birthday 
greetings upon me, all of which was extremely pleasant . . . 

Among the birthday greetings Mott received was one from 
President Eisenhower: 

On your 80th birthday I join with your friends and neigh- 
bors at tonight's testimonial dinner in a greatly deserved 
tribute to you for a lifetime of constructive work and service. 
Your selection for the Big Brother Award earlier this year 
was a highly merited distinction. To everyone in Flint I am 
sure it was fitting recognition of many years devoted to the 
betterment of your community, your State, and your Nation. 

But tonight's celebration, because of its spontaneous ex- 
pression of affection and esteem by those who know you 
best in close association, must be a heart-warming and per- 
sonal satisfaction to you. 

As you look about the room this evening, I hope that you 
will recognize that those there represent many thousands of 
others who with like affection and esteem wish you long 
years of active, happy living. 


Back in Utica, New York, the city he had left a half-century 

ear li er Mott was honored on his fiftieth anniversary as a 

member of Utica's Ziyara Shrine Temple; he received a fifty- 
year Shriner pin and a fifty-year medal from the Grand Lodge 
of Masons of New York. 

Paul Gallico, in the December, 1955, Reader's Digest, in 
an article called, "Rediscovery of America," made a compar- 
ison between the Flint he had seen in 1937 and the Flint of 
1955, characterizing Flint's great progress through those 
eighteen years in a significant phrase: "blurring of class lines." 
That may seem understatement for an ideal, but it does suggest 
the development of a community social unity and common 
purpose that may well sum up the whole American idea; 
certainly it is a remarkable tribute to the end-product, in Flint, 
of twenty years of Mott Foundation exploration and accom- 
plishment toward the good community ideal. 



The year 1956 witnessed rapid growth of Flint's educational- 
cultural plans. It was announced by the Flint Journal, January 
11, that the board of education had indicated that the new 
senior college building to be constructed for the use of the 
University of Michigan would be called the Mott Memorial 
Building, with a plaque to be inscribed: "Erected by Charles 
Stewart Mott in memory of his parents, John C. Mott and 
Isabella T. Mott." 

In February, 1956, approval was given to the final plans for 
the Mott Memorial Building. Dr. David M. French was ap- 
pointed dean of the University of Michigan in Flint, and it was 
announced that the first university classes would open in the 
fall of 1956, utilizing junior college buildings, and that the 
Mott Memorial Building would be ready by the fall of 1957. 

April 1 1 brought a meeting of the Notre Dame Club of Flint, 
at which Frank J. Manley was named Flint's "Man of the 
Year" for "responsible Christian citizenship." Robert Sibilsky, 
president of the club, made the presentation, staling that 
Manley "has always been interested in and sympathetic with 
the needs of others particularly of children and youth. But, 
being a man of action and a creative leader, he has never been 
content to just 'feel sorry.' He has constantly rolled up his 
sleeves and pitched in to do something to improve the situation. 
What's more, his dynamic example has induced hundreds of 
others to help." 

Mott spoke forcefully of Manley's dedication to the good of 
the community: "What Frank Manley has done should be 
apparent to all citizens of Flint who have their eyes and ears 
open. ... In the last analysis, the Mott program is Frank 
Manley . . . and its results are due to one man, Frank Manley. 


I'm tickled to death that he received the award he so justly 
deserves. God bless Frank Manley." George V. Gundry, a 
member of the board of education, emphasized the contribu- 
tion Manley's "zeal, spirit, and enthusiasm" had made to 
growth of the Mott program. Walter E. Scott, also of the board 
of education, noted that, to borrow industrial terminology, "we 
are taking an inventory of a most distinguished person." The 
Rev. C. C. McHale praised Manley as one "blessed with the 
power to influence others," and indicated how well he believed 
Manley had employed this blessing for the good of others. 
Nothing could have pleased Mott more than this public 
acknowledgement of the rare and fine qualities he had recog- 
nized in Manley so many years before. 

A few weeks later, the Frank J. Manley Swimming Pool at 
Northern High School was dedicated, and a portrait of Manley 
was unveiled in the foyer. Mott made the formal presentation 
of the pool, and Dr. Spencer W. Myers accepted for the 
schools, mentioning that the "Mott-Manley team is unbeat- 
able." Dr. Charles L. Anspach, president of Central Michigan 
College, conferred upon Manley an honorary Doctor of Laws 
Degree, and Dr. Wilbur E. Moore, head of clinical services at 
Central Michigan, read a citation honoring Manley. 

At Michigan State Normal College in the June Commence- 
ment, William F. Minardo received a degree never before 
granted: master of community school administration. The 
course had been developed under a cooperative graduate train- 
ing plan worked out with the Flint Board of Education and 
Mott Foundation and Michigan State Normal College in 
Ypsilanti. Appropriately, Minardo was the first to complete the 
work for a master's degree, since he had been Flint's first com- 
munity-school director. Dr. W. Fred Totten directed the course, 
built around the laboratory offered by the Flint community 
schools, and designed to develop the wide scope of skills, tech- 
niques, and personal qualities required by this new and im- 
portant vocation. 

A fifty-two-day tour of Europe was sponsored by the Foun- 

dation as an adult education experimental development A 
group of twenty-seven people toured eight European countries 
under this plan. The steady progress of the health-achievement 
program was demonstrated when end-of-school-year figures 
showed 12,751 children 52.6 per cent of the 24,207 enroll- 
ment in public and parochial schools in the health-guarded 
category, having all known medical defects corrected. Some 
6,000 children were enrolled in Mott Foundation Tot-Lots for 
the summer and the high point of their program, as every 
year, was the "Motti Gras" show. The children's theater pro- 
gram also showed splendid development under the guidance 
of Mrs. Helen Hardy Brown and Mrs. Mary Nell Humes; 
children are encouraged to develop dramatic characters from 
stories they know improvising rather than learning lines by 
rote for a kind of creative expression not otherwise experi- 

The Mott Foundation budget projected for the 1956-1957 
year was in excess of $800,000 not including a $500,000 
gift for construction of a new special-education building for 
the use of handicapped children. By mid- August, Dr. David 
M. French announced that the Flint College of the University 
of Michigan had already received two hundred applications 
for admission. Mott adult education classes were expanded, 
and in-service training for teachers was intensified. 

On September 4, 1956, Mott received the distinguished 
service medal from the American Legion at the Legion's Na- 
tional Convention in Los Angeles. Mott accepted the tribute 
"to a fine organization of able and dedicated workers number- 
ing several hundreds who are putting into effect in Flint what 
they call the Mott Program of Education, Health, and Recrea- 
tion for the purpose of not only making Flint a better place 
in which to live, but also to furnish an example for other com- 
munities to copy which they are already doing." 

One more award which came to Mott in February, 1957, 
was a reminder of the fact that engineering was a major facet 
of his life. The Michigan Society of Professional Engineers 


presented to Mott the award as Michigan Engineer of the Year, 
accompanied by a framed citation. 

On October 8, 1956, the Flint College of the University of 
Michigan was officially opened; a formal convocation pro- 
vided appropriate ceremonies. And the junior college opened 
also with 2,247 full-time students enrolled. 

The Flint College and Cultural Development raised its an- 
nounced aim to $20 million and was incorporated as a non- 
profit organization. Bids for the Enos A. and Sarah De Waters 
Art Center were received; the total figure was over $950,000, 
of which DeWaters had already contributed $700,000. 

Pledges of $25,000 or more were coming in at an impressive 
rate. In December, bids were requested for construction of a 
planetarium and a theater. It was announced that the plane- 
tarium would be named for Robert T. Longway, and the 
theater for F. A. Bower. The two men were old associates 
from the days they had first worked at the Weston-Mott Com- 
pany and it was most appropriate that the two buildings 
named for them were to stand side by side. Members of the 
family of Cady B. Durham, one of the strong and able auto- 
mobile production men of the earlier days, contributed a total 
of $325,000; it was announced that the swimming pool to be 
built at the college and cultural center would be named for 

Early in 1957, Dr. John H. Hannah, president of Michigan 
State University, toured Flint at Mott's invitation to see for 
himself how the community schools operated and to have a 
look at the college and cultural development. Mott and 
Manley took him to Freeman School, Potter, and then to Fair- 
view where, since the first experimental work, a gymnasium- 
auditorium had been built. They visited other new schools, 
stopped in at Northern High School to see the Manley Pool, 
then came back to the junior college campus to look over the 
buildings there and see how fully they were being used. A 
newspaper story quotes Hannah as saying, "The program has 
accomplished wonders in bringing the residents together to 

work for the common good. I feel that it will have a tremen- 
dous impact throughout this state and the rest of the country." 
Another quotation from a different newspaper is even more 
sweeping: "For the first time, I am seeing an actual exempli- 
fication of a program getting the job done that so many others 

are only talking about I can think of nothing any person 

or organization could do to make better use of education than 
what is being accomplished in Flint." 

The original $12-million goal of the college and cultural 
development had seemed imaginative; the later $20-million 
figure had seemed proportionately more unrealistic but by 
mid-January, 1957, contributions had already reached $15,- 
167,000, and the snowball was still rolling. With a $25,000 
minimum on sponsorships, 160 sponsors had akeady come 
forward. Mr. Enos A. DeWaters simplified bookkeeping on 
his account by adding another $300,000 to make his contribu- 
tion an even $1 million. 

Another sponsorship of exceptional interest came from Dr. 
and Mrs. Arthur Pound, honoring the memory of Mrs. Pound's 
father, W. A. Paterson who had opened Flint's first carriage 
factory in 1869, had made roadcarts for Durant and Dort in 
1886, and had manufactured the Paterson automobile from 
1908 until 1921. Dr. Arthur Pound is well-known as the 
author of The Turning Wheel the story of the first twenty-five 
years of General Motors, and for many other fine books. It 
was he who had edited the Flint Arrow supporting Mott's 
first candidacy for mayor of Flint. 

On February 28, and the first two days of March, the 
Michigan State Department of Public Instruction and the 
Flint Board of Education and Mott Foundation sponsored a 
three-day workshop in community education with the Flint 
community schools as the laboratory. Dr. Clair L. Taylor, 
state superintendent of public instruction, stated the theme of 
the event as "Community improvement through community 
leadership and cooperative effort." 

Dr. Ernest O. Melby, national authority on community 


education, made the first major talk of the three-day confer- 
ence. His subject was "The Community-Centered School." 
One of his comments about Flint's accomplishment was: 
"You've translated into reality the ideas I've been talking 
about for years." He defined a community-centered school as 

. . . not a community doing things for people, but an educa- 
tional system which helps people do things for themselves. The 

key is getting people to do things If we give every man, 

women, and child in America a chance to take active part in 
education, we won't have to worry about shortages of build- 
ings and teachers. We can get anything we want. At the same 
time, if we have faith in our people, and respect our people, 
we can learn from them, and in working together they will 
come to respect and love each other. Think of the problems 

in human relations that would solve I'm convinced that 

what really educates people is not what they hear or what 
they read, but what they do. 

Mott welcomed the visiting educators, thanking them for 
their visit because, "It's useless for us to send people out to 
tell the story they wouldn't believe it. The only way we can 
accomplish our goal is for you to come here and see what's 
going on." 

On the second day of the workshop, Dr. Shane MacCarthy, 
executive director of the President's Council on Youth Fitness, 
spoke to the group. He defined fitness as including "not only 
physical improvement, but mental and moral strengthening as 
well." He pointed out that, as a nation, we are sports-conscious 
but mostly in observer roles. He suggested that it was a 
community responsibility to help encourage the "simple con- 
cept of exercise" by providing opportunity and incentive. 

Another speaker, Dr. Howard Y. McClusky, of the Univer- 
sity of Michigan, pointed out that today's organization of 
society tends to separate people rather than to bring them 
together; he saw the community school as the agency to bring 
people back to that socially healthy neighborhood and family 
cooperation essential to community betterment 

Dr. G. Robert Koopmen, state associate superintendent of 
public instruction, reviewed the development of the community- 
school idea, concluding that the preparatory and experimental 
phases had been completed so that now the concept could be 
applied. He said: "That's why we're in Flint, where the experi- 
ment has been carried furthest. Our aim is to spread the idea 
to as many communities in the State as possible." 

Dr. James A. Lewis, University of Michigan vice-president 
for student affairs, added, "It's time we start using what knowl- 
edge we have about why people and groups behave the way 
they do. If we want warm and friendly people, we've got to 
provide the kind of climate they can grow in. Schools have 
got to go beyond supplying knowledge. Knowledge alone won't 
change behavior." 

The visiting educators included some 150 people from 35 
Michigan communities. On the final day of the conference, 
Dr. Taylor asked those attending the workshop to "Make your- 
selves committees to find out what you can do in your com- 
munities in the light of what you've learned here." He asked 
if it wouldn't be appropriate to add a new meaning to the 
initials of C. S. Mott's given names, to make "C. S. stand for 
'Community Service.' " He reminded his listeners that in pioneer 
days, the one-room school was the center of community activi- 
ties, and added, "Here is a large city that has recaptured that 
pioneer concept. The idea is contagious, and I can't see any 
reason why it won't spread over the entire state." 

Mott, Manley, and Dr. Robert K. Burns contributed to the 
final session of the workshop and the visitors expressed 
enthusiasm about what they had seen and learned in Flint 
The first workshop in community education was obviously an 
overwhelming success because the visitors had not merely 
heard about what was being done in Flint, they had seen it 
happening. A survey of Flint's community schools showed an 
average weekly attendance of 24,000 in after-school and eve- 
ning recreation activities events scheduled outside of regular 
school hours during the winter. 


In April, Flint re-elected three members of the board of 
education William S. Ballenger, Jr., S. S. Stewart, Jr., and 
Walter E. Scott for six-year terms which the Flint Journal 
saw as "a ringing indorsement of the policies and operations" 
of the board. Additional sponsorships kept coming in for the 
college and cultural development A tremendous science fair 
was presented at Ballenger Field House. Dedication of the 
Guy W. Selby Community School added one more KnV in the 
chain of progress. A new library was planned to serve both the 
junior and senior colleges. 

At the Flint Youth Bureau's thirteenth annual banquet, 
Director Joseph T. Ryder reported 677 Big Brothers active in 
the program and Dr. Ernest O. Melby re-emphasized his enthu- 
siasm for Flint: 

To make freedom live in the world, we first must make it 
live in a community. ... If you can build a community in 
which people have love, understanding, and respect for each 

other, you're paving the way for a sound world I came 

to Michigan and heard about the Flint program. I've been 
here six times in the last four months and I'm not sure even 
you realize fully what is going on in Flint. 

First I saw what a vision of the future of youth and of 
America Frank Manley has. Then I met Charles Stewart 
Mott and was deeply impressed with the insight, sympathy, 
and understanding of this great human being. 

Dr. Melby saw the success of the Foundation program as 
based in the belief of its leadership that something could be 
done. He felt that Flint was finding the answer to the problem 
that had bothered him most that with fantastic prosperity, 
people are not happy. He stated that the Flint Youth Bureau 
represented the approach to the good society in which "We 
must have people working with the desire to be of service to 

One of the Mott Foundation activities most dedicated to 
such service to humanity, the Stepping Stones, paid tribute 
to Michael H. Hamady as guest of honor at their sixteenth 

annual banquet in recognition of the meaning of the gift, 
back in 1943, of his $175,000 Branch Road estate as a club- 
house for the Stepping Stone clubs. 

It was apparent that the second of the Foundation's two 
basic objectives functioning as a pilot project for other 
communities was being realized when six Flint school and 
Foundation staff members were invited to participate in the 
National Conference on Education for Leisure in Washington, 
D.C. Also, four of the five main speakers scheduled at the 
conference were authorities who had already visited Flint and 
commented enthusiastically on Flint's community schools. 

Another school the new Everett A. Cummings Community 
School was dedicated May 20, 1957. The dedication hap- 
pened to fall on the forty-seventh birthday of the man for 
whom the school was named, board of education member 
Everett A. Cummings. 

With Flint voters approving continuation of a 2%-miIl 
debt-service levy for ten years, the city could follow a planned 
program for construction of needed schools particularly 
junior and senior high schools required by the growing popula- 
tion. Walter E. Scott, president of the board of education, 
called the favorable vote an "inspiring responsibility to board 

The Mott Foundation's experimental developments were, 
as always, exploring new possibilities. A family-participation 
arts and crafts workshop provided an opportunity for whole 
families to work together on a variety of activities pottery 
making, metal enameling, basket weaving, sketching, wood 
carving, or other arts and crafts. A new athletic program, the 
Flint Junior Olympics, offered 225 highly varied events, with 
1,500 participants. The four-day athletic program (witnessed 
with great approval by Dr. Shane MacCarthy, who brought the 
greetings of President Eisenhower) was climaxed by a pole- 
vaulting exhibition by Bob Richards, and an impressive gym- 
nastic performance by Ernestine Russell. Bishop-method sew- 
ing classes had proved highly popular in the adult education 


program, and plans were made for an enrollment of 1,500 in 
61 such sewing classes in 30 centers. 

Michigan State University announced for the fall of 1957 
the initiation of a new program for developing leadership in 
community education by extending graduate credit beyond the 
master's degree toward a special degree as director of com- 
munity education. Dr. W. Fred Totten, Flint's director of 
graduate study in the field of community education, announced 
that the plan was an extension of the in-service program insti- 
tuted in 1954 with Eastern Michigan College. 

The community-school program in Flint, by the fall of 1957, 
was reaching thirty-six different schools with the services of 
thirty-four community-school directors. 

For the college and cultural development, a $100,000 con- 
tribution was received in memory of Harry H. Bassett the 
gift of his widow, Mrs. Jessie H. Swenson, and his son, Harry 
Hood Bassett. 

In September, 1957, Flint's community-school program 
received new recognition. The twenty-eighth annual confer- 
ence of the Michigan Association of School Administrators 
was built around the theme: "The Community School and the 
Shape of Things to Come." One of the principal speakers, Dr. 
Paul H. Hanna, Professor of Education at Stanford University 
and an international authority on community schools, visited 
Flint just before going to the conference and promised that the 
Flint story would be adequately presented. Manley also was 
invited to bring the pioneering Flint development before the 

After visiting Flint community schools, Dr. Hanna said that 
Flint had the most thorough and effective program he had seen. 

Some places are doing some of the things you are. Other 
cities have what they call community schools, but still lock 
up the doors at 5 o'clock each afternoon . . . 

One of the chief impressions I get here is that through the 
Mott Foundation you've shown that the public schools are 
instruments for directing leadership for community improve- 


ment. The school is the only instrument which completely 
represents all the people. The school offers permanent facili- 
ties and a permanent staff. 

The school is the coordination agency for all resources of 
a community. It is more than a physical facility, but some- 
thing to be used by neighbors to help themselves make the 
community improvements they need to do together, such as 
in health, recreation, and adult education. 

Success of the whole system depends on a building and 
training leadership being available. That certainly is the key 
to your success in Flint. 

The committee of sponsors of the college and cultural devel- 
opment reported that E. A. DeWaters who had previously 
contributed $1 million to the project, had added an additional 
$362,000 to pay the complete cost of the art center which 
would bear the name of himself and his wife. Original plans 
of the center had been enlarged to provide twelve classrooms, 
conference, and study rooms found necessary to meet the 
growing college enrollment This added gift brought the Devel- 
opment within $3.5 million of its $20-mMon goal. Flint 
Junior College enrollment was 3,335 as compared with 736 

in 1952. , 

On October 2, 1957, it was announced that the Mott Foun- 
dation budget for the 1957-1958 school year would exceed 
$1 million for the first time. On the same day, the Mott Memo- 
rial Building was dedicated to the use of the Flint College of 
the University of Michigan. Dr. Harlan H. Hatcher, president 
of the University, and Dr. Alexander G. Ruthven, president- 
emeritus, attended the ceremonies along with the regents. 
Walter E. Scott, president of the Flint Board of Education, 
presented Dr. David M. French, dean of the Flint College of 
the University of Michigan. Dean French discussed the facili- 
ties provided by the new building. Mott told the audience that 
Dr Ruthven, back in 1946, had indicated the day was coming 
when the university might have to open branches off-campus 
and mentioned his own early efforts to get a branch of the 


university for Flint. Meanwhile, he had joined in Flint's efforts 
to develop the best junior college anywhere. Both efforts had 
now become realities. He presented the keys of the Mott Me- 
morial Building to Walter E. Scott, who then presented them 
to Dr. Hatcher. Dr. Hatcher called the new school a "manful 
attack on some of the problems that lie ahead for higher edu- 
cation." He assured his listeners that "the University of Mich- 
igan will do its best to carry on proudly in its great tradition 
here in Flint." Mott unveiled the bronze plaque in the lobby 
of the new building: 





One of Mott's interests had always been sound understand- 
ing of the fundamentals of economics. This led to a project 
in economic education which was started, with the backing of 
the Foundation, by Dr. Robert K. Burns, dean of the Univer- 
sity of Chicago School of Business. By 1957, the project was 
in operation in eight colleges and universities, sponsored by 
the University of Chicago with the aid of a grant from the Mott 
Foundation. Training of teachers, development of leadership, 
getting the fundamentals of our economic system clearly and 
simply to the people are among the objectives of the pro- 
gram. Dr. Bums, in outlining the application of economic 
instruction at the high school level to a group in Flint, pointed 
out that only three of every hundred high school students were 
talcing a course in economics and that better economic under- 
standing of our own system is an essential tool in meeting the 
ideological challenge of communism. Dr. Burns said: "The 
future of free people depends on what happens to free enter- 
prise and education." 

In November, 1957, the Mott Foundation contributed $1 
million for the construction of a University of Chicago indus- 
trial relations building to house the expanding program devel- 


oped by Dr. Burns, centered on economic education, leader- 
ship, and communications. Mott explained the gift, as quoted 
in the Chicago Sun-Times of December 8, 1957, by saying 
that people "simply have not acquired the economic facts of 
life. Dr. Burns has a plan to get some of these facts across to 
the people of the United States through the Industrial Rela- 
tions Center. He has a staff of 80, and they need a compre- 
hensive single building to do their work properly. We agreed 
to pay for the building, not simply as a gift to the University of 
Chicago, which will own the building, but as a tool with which 
to accomplish this particular proposition." 



One of the reasons for the effectiveness of the Foundation's 
programs from the very earliest days has been good com- 
munications; it does no good to offer splendid opportunities 
if the people who might participate do not even know the op- 
portunities exist. Newspapers, radio, and television have always 
found good stories, good features, good news in Foundation 
activities and have been generous with space and time. The 
Flint Journal, for example, has not only found countless news 
and feature stories it has also printed schedules of commu- 
nity-school activities regularly. Radio Station WFDF has pro- 
duced many programs in behalf of Foundation developments, 
including a series for several years under the general title "Op- 
portunity Unlimited" as well as contributing broadcast time 
to conduct two Mott Foundation adult education courses by 
radio for the whole listening area. Other radio stations and 
television stations have been similarly active in behalf of the 

During 1957, 826 individuals came to Flint specifically 
to study and observe the community-school program. They 
came from ten different foreign nations, seventeen different 
states of the Union, and eighty-eight different communities 
in Michigan. They included members of the President's cab- 
inet, college presidents, deans, professors, school superin- 
tendents from large cities and small, civic leaders, teachers, 
industrialists, university students, Fulbright scholars, and news- 
paper and magazine writers and editors. The Foundation, in 
following the second of its two basic objectives serving as 
an example developed a program for receiving visitors and 
making sure they saw the real grass-roots activities that make 
up the reality of the community school program. All visitors 


were introduced to the simple, powerful, down-to-earth ideals 
of the program. 

Visitors were taken on tours of a variety of activities, and a 
sincere attempt was made to help them find the answers they 
were looking for to the problems that concerned them most. 
Guests were usually entertained at breakfasts or luncheons 
provided by community groups in the schools they were visit- 
ing. They were invited to sit in on classes of special interest, 
and thus they had an ideal opportunity to talk with the com- 
munity people actually participating in the activities. Visitors 
did not get a description of the program they shared in it 
and had the actual experience of belonging to one aspect after 
another of it, even if only briefly. They didn't have to be told 
that people in vast numbers were responding they saw this 
for themselves, and even felt the stirring of response in them- 
selves to the interesting, enjoyable, informal, humanly satisfy- 
ing activities thanks to the circumstances under which their 
visits were arranged. Coordinators, principals, building direc- 
tors, and other staff members acted as guides for groups of 
visitors. Foundation people were not only mindful of that 
second objective of the program encouragement of outside 
communities to develop their own community schools but 
they have always had so much pride and pleasure in the Foun- 
dation's work that they have found it a rewarding experience 
to help others discover the human values and real results that 
are evident in the program in action. 

No matter when visitors come, there is always plenty to 
see because the Mott Foundation program goes on around 
the year. 

"The Flint story of education should be carried to every 
community in the Country. Flint Junior College is an inspira- 
tion itself, with its young, progressive faculty and dedicated 
administrative staff. People in Flint have a right to be proud 
of their College and Cultural Development there is nothing 
quite like it in the world." This was the comment of Dr. Jesse 
P. Bogue, executive secretary, when members of the American 


Association of Junior Colleges visited Flint for a conference, 
and to learn about the educational program. 

Others were equally generous with their appreciation. 

On March 1 9, Dr. Kevin McCann, special consultant to Presi- 
dent Eisenhower, arrived in Flint for a three-day review of the 
community schools, Mott Foundation, and college and cultural 
development. This was the result of a visit which Mott, his 
son Harding, Manley, and Dr. Spencer Myers had made to the 
office of Marion B. Folsom, Secretary of Health, Education, 
and Welfare, earlier in March. It had then been planned for 
Dr. McCann to visit Flint and make a report to President 
Eisenhower and Secretary Folsom on the relationship of Flint 
educational development to proposed national programs for 
improved education. Mrs. McCann accompanied her husband 
to Flint. 

On the evening of their arrival, the McCanns were invited 
to attend the annual-report meeting of the Mott Foundation 
Co-ordinating Committee. The next day, they first visited the 
Potter School, where they had breakfast served by a mothers' 
club, and then toured the new Tuuri-Mott Special Education 
Building for handicapped children. In the afternoon they 
toured the college and cultural development, and that evening 
they were guests at the Industrial Executives' Club, where Dr. 
McCann was asked to talk to the audience of some 2,000. He 
spoke in enthusiastic terms of what he was seeing in Flint, 
indicating that never in all of his life and experience had he 
been in a community where such remarkable things were 
carried on in recreation, in health, and community education. 

The next morning, the McCanns visited Jefferson School, 
where they saw community-school activities in action. Mott 
notes in his diary that the McCanns were so interested that 
they could have spent the whole day there. Before 10 A.M. they 
drove to Pierce School, where they sat in on a meeting of 
school principals, community-school directors, and administra- 
tive staff members. Elmer L. Galley, Mott Foundation science 
consultant, discussed the current emphasis on teaching more 

children to be scientists. Galley's theme was: "We must develop 
understanding of the hearts of men as well as of the hearts of 
atoms." Human understanding was vital to world survival, he 
said so he advised caution in trying to push students into 
science, and suggested that we "search out our talented chil- 
dren. But let's encourage them to follow their natural interests, 
whether they lie in art, music, or science." He offered a well- 
organized group of practical guides in improving the quality 
of science teaching. 

What Dr. McCann thought about what he had seen in Flint 
was indicated in his comments at the Pierce School seminar 
that morning. The Flint Journal quoted from Dr. McCann's 

After 10 years of searching, all of a sudden I see a pattern 
that looks like the answer to the biggest problem of our 
time. . . . 

In Flint I've seen for the first time what looks like a com- 
munity-wide frontal attack. 

Evidently you have the elements here common to all Amer- 
ican communities. But you're the only people I've seen and 
I've observed education in a lot of cities who have put all 
the elements together and come up with a pattern which 
should be common for the whole United States. 

I'd just like to sit down now and try to figure out how 
your ideas of community education can be spread. 

In April, 1958, five hundred members of the Michigan 
Rural Teachers Association held their three-day annual con- 
vention in Flint with "Community Education" as the theme 
and the Mott Foundation as host. Just two days later, the state 
department of public instruction, Flint Board of Education, 
and Mott Foundation sponsored the second annual community 
education workshop in which there was heartening testimony 
from representatives of communities attending the first work- 
shop the previous year, now reporting that the "Flint influence" 
had produced encouraging beginnings of community-school 
programs in their areas. These good reports came from the 


Clio and Dye schools near Flint, and three other communities 
farther away: Pontiac's Will Rogers School, Vicksburg's com- 
munity schools, and the schools of Holland, Mich. Testimony 
on the results to date was enthusiastic in each instance and 
there were some 150 representatives of thirty-five communities 
attending this second workshop. 

Mott found his days busier than ever, with never quite time 
enough to go around. At the annual banquet of the Michigan 
Education Association in Lansing, he was given a distinguished 
service award, which he accepted in behalf of Manley and the 
Foundation staff. And then, to demonstrate how strongly he 
felt that the credit should be passed on, he opened a carton 
he had brought along, and took from it a large sterling silver 
tray on which was inscribed, "Frank J. Manley, Spark Plug 
and Director of Mott Program, in appreciation of service 
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, April, 1958." Manley had 
no inkling of such a presentation, and, as Mott notes in his 
diary, "was pretty well overcome." Mott then presented Mrs. 
Manley with a sterling silver coffee set. 

Flint became the 1958 host for the National Science Fair; 
Manley made recreational and other facilities of the Founda- 
tion available to the visiting contestants from everywhere, and 
special events were arranged to make their visit to Flint enjoy- 
able, with teen clubs as hosts. 

The first graduating class of the Flint College of the Univer- 
sity of Michigan was honored in a convocation June 13, 1958; 
on the next day, the seventy-six Flint graduates joined the 
rest of the University's graduating class at Michigan Stadium 
at Ann Arbor. 

Recognition of Mott Foundation Director Manley's concern 
for physical fitness and for constructive youth activities came 
in the form of his appointment by President Eisenhower as a 
member of the President's Citizens Advisory Committee on 
Fitness of American Youth. Shane MacCarthy, executive 
director of the President's Council on Youth Fitness, desig- 
nated Manley as one of those who had assumed initiative in 

developing youth-fitness programs. Other members of the 
committee included General Mark W. Clark, Clarence L. 
Munn, George Romney, Arthur Godfrey, Robert W. Sarnoff, 
and a number of other men of accomplishment. Appropriately, 
the announcement of Manley's appointment reached the news- 
papers just one day after the final figures on the completed 
school year's Mott Foundation Health Achievement Program, 
showing 15,860 of 27,000 pupils (58.7 per cent) in the health- 
guarded category at the close of the nineteenth year of work 
with Flint school children. 

As detailed earlier in these pages, Mott had attended an 
appreciation banquet in honor of Harlow H. Curtice in Flint 
on September 25, 1935. On that occasion Mott had felt that 
there should have been a "strong and direct statement" which 
he did not find in the references to Curtice, and so he wrote 
such a statement and showed it to Michael Gorman, Editor 
of the Flint Journal, who printed it under the title, "TRIBUTE 


Sloan a copy of the "speech that wasn't made." 

Just twenty-two years and eleven months later, Mott attended 
a meeting of General Motors Directors in New York, August 
25, 1958, followed by an appreciation dinner at the Union 
Club in honor of Curtice, retiring as president of General 
Motors. Mott had in his pocket a copy of the 1935 "speech 
that wasn't made," and before the dinner, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., 
said to Mott: "Stewart, you're such an old director and know 
so much about Curtice I would like to have you tell the direc- 
tors something about him." Mott agreed to do so, pleased that 
at last the "speech that wasn't made" would be made and in 
circumstances that would add infinitely to its impact. However, 
Sloan apparently forgot all about calling on Mott and again 
the "speech that wasn't made" wasn't made. Back at his hotel 
after the dinner, Mott once more mailed a copy of the "speech 
that wasn't made" to Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. 

In that 1935 speech Mott had made a "strong and direct 
statement" recognizing the same exceptional qualities in Cur- 


tice that were to make him an eminently successful president 
of General Motors. Mott's respect, admiration, and friendship 
for Curtice have been unwavering over the years. Curtice has 
always had that quality which Mott also found in Nash, com- 
mon sense; at the same time, he has had an element of bold- 
ness, dash, creative imagination, and courage reminiscent of 
Durant, disciplined by a down-to-earth quality of realism; 
these plus dedication to the concept of progress (as embodied 
in his splendid statement: "Anything and everything can be 
improved"). And beyond these, Curtice has had the capacity 
for decision and the remarkable prescience which have always 
been characteristic of Mott. As the head of the business, he 
exercised brilliantly the functions Mott had defined: ". , . to 
sort the wheat from the chaff, to hold up a standard to work 
to, and to make decisions of prime importance." 

The acquisition of the J. Dallas Dort home on Kearsley 
Street, immediately across from the new location of the Flint 
Public Library, provided a touch of historic continuity to the 
college and cultural development, as well as adding a music 
center to the project. This impressive Georgian mansion built 
in 1906 by Durant's partner in the old Durant-Dort Carriage 
Company may well serve as a distinguished link to some of 
the glories of the past for Flint; it has been designated as the 
J. Dallas Dort Music Center. Dort was the driving force of 
civic improvement activities for Flint in his lifetime; it is most 
appropriate that his beautiful home be part of today's college 
and cultural development. 

The Mott Foundation was host to a State Pilot Leadership 
Workshop for elementary school science consultants in Sep- 
tember. This three-day conference was sponsored by the 
Michigan Department of Public Instruction and its science 
education curriculum committee. 

In September, also, The Saturday Review carried Robert 
Lewis Shayon's "Report from the Grass Roots," in which Flint's 
community schools, and the contribution Manley has made to 
educational opportunity in Flint, were given much credit 

A gift of $1 million from the Mott Foundation for construc- 
tion of a library to serve both colleges brought the contributions 
of the Foundation to the college and cultural development to 
almost $4 million. 

The death, on October 11, 1958, of Michael A. Gorman, 
Editor of the Flint Journal for thirty years, was a major loss 
to Flint in general and to the college and cultural development 
in particular. Among the many tributes to Gorman's memory 
from friends everywhere is this from Mott: "Mike's untimely 
passing was a sad blow to all of his many friends and a great 
loss to the City of Flint, in whose growth and development he 
was so interested. In the College and Cultural Development he 
was the spark plug. It had become his prime interest and he 
seemed more concerned in its completion than in his own life. 
He will be greatly missed." 

Flint's third annual community education workshop, in the 
latter part of October, brought 250 representatives of Michigan 
communities to Flint to learn first-hand about the community- 
school program. As in the previous workshops, distinguished 
authorities indicated their belief that Flint had found answers 
to the most vital problems of our time through the revitalization 
of education in the community-school program. There were 
also enthusiastic reports from representatives of communities 
that had been making progress in developing their own com- 
munity-school programs after learning about Flint's accom- 

Among 1958 visitors to Flint was Gen. Edwin Norman 
Clark, member of the executive committee of the President's 
Citizens Committee on Youth Fitness, who made a careful 
study of the Mott program. 

In an enthusiastic letter to Mott, General Clark made many 
comments about the effectiveness of the Foundation. Here is 
one paragraph from his impressive letter: 

Since returning to New York I have thought a great deal 
of what I have seen and heard during my trip to Flint. I have 
asked myself why this near-miracle is happening in Flint and 


not happening in our other American communities. Frankly, 
I am convinced that the approach to education, to com- 
munity life, and to fitness of your youth and your adults in 
Flint, is the approach which must be copied and put into 
operation throughout America. It is immaterial whether it 
should be pulled out into America by other communities and 
by their responsible government officials, or pushed out by 
you and the Mott Foundation, who know so well what you 
have accomplished. Both things should be done as quickly 
as possible. I for one, am going to have some conversations 
with some of my associates who are interested in the problem 
of youth fitness, both here and in Washington. I further hope 
that you will allow me to return to Flint soon so that I may 
gain a better knowledge of your activities and successes. I 
want to thank you, Frank Manley, and your associates in 
Flint for the great pleasure and for the great inspiration which 
have been given to me, and by which I have gained much. It 
must be a source of great satisfaction to you to see the Mott 
Foundation Program in full flower in Flint 

In the college and cultural development, Flint's new public 
library was completed. The aesthetic stature of the project was 
enhanced by the gift of a $500,000 collection of Renaissance 
art objects of great distinction, by Mrs. Everett L. Bray. Addi- 
tional sponsorships for the development were announced from 
time to time. The board of education decided to name the new 
Flint Junior College science building for Michael A. Gorman. 

On December 3, 1958, Mott participated in the dedication 
of the Tuuri-Mott Building which had been constructed with 
the aid of a special $500,000 Foundation grant. It had been 
built as part of Durant School, which is since known as the 
Durant-Tuuri-Mott School. The building is specially adapted 
to the education and rehabilitation of handicapped children. 
In the course of the dedication, board of education president 
Walter E. Scott read a citation honoring Mott and presented 
him with a gigantic framed scroll listing awards previously 
made to him. The scroll states that the "Mott Foundation 
Program has enabled the Board of Education to undertake, on 


behalf of the citizens of Flint, programs and services that have 
brought national and international distinction to the commu- 
nity. The City of Flint has become, in fact, a model for the 
Nation." The scroll then lists the organizations and individuals 
who have awarded distinctions to Mott. 

In his diary for the day, Mott notes: "Condensed report of 
so-called address as follows:'* 

I am afraid that my merits have been overstated. 

I admit my guilt of helping Flint folks, 

But they themselves have helped themselves: 

First, by the ideas and energies of Frank Manley, 

Second, by a sympathetic and co-operative School Board, 

Third, by Frank's wonderful Stafi, 

Fourth, by a grand P.T.A. and understanding public. 

Time does not permit me to tell you 

All that I think about Frank Manley. 

Regarding Dr. Tuuri, he is simply the best ever 

Loved by the medical profession, his assistants, the folks 
he serves, and by all of us. 

Have I covered this point? 

Then there is Cleo Popp and her devoted staff. 

When Frank came to me regarding 

The need for this building, I listened 

Until he finished and then said: 

"O.K. I am sure that Flint would 

Construct this building some day, 

But we can't wait. Let's do it now while we're alive. 
And it's done, and we're all happy. 

The last weeks of 1958 were shadowed for Mott by the 
death, on November 25, of Charles F. Kettering, a man Mott 
had always liked and admired to the highest degree. They had 
been close friends, working together for many years. Mott was 
in Bermuda when the news of Kettering's death came. He made 
arrangements to reach Dayton, Ohio, for Kettering's funeral, 
at which he was an honorary pallbearer. 

The last entry in Mott's diary for 1958 is the listing of the 


twelve Kettering statements printed on the small calendar 
Kettering had sent him at Christmas the year before with a 
"Kettering idea" under each month. One of these idea- 
statements is: 

With wining hands and open minds, the future will be greater 
than the most fantastic story you can write. You will always 
under-rate it 



It would be difficult to find more appropriate words to begin 
the last section of this book than those offered in the Kettering 
Calendar for 1959, sent out by Eugene W. Kettering, with one 
of his father's inspired perceptions for each month of the year, 

Nothing ever built arose to touch the skies unless some man 
dreamed that it should, some man believed that it could, and 
some man willed that it must. 

Dreaming . . . believing . . . and willing . . . have been going 
on in Flint since 1819 but never at a greater pace, and with 
richer and wider fields of accomplishment than in 1959. The 
remarkable gains of 1958 continued with gathering momen- 
tum. More sponsors joined the college and cultural develop- 
ment; construction proceeded on new buildings; three new 
schools were planned; the first Pilot Leadership Workshop in 
High School Science Education was held in mid- January; 
adult education class enrollments kept growing; and there were 
more and more visitors to Flint. A publication of the United 
States Information Service at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels had 
published an article about Flint community schools which had 
been made available in several languages to visitors to the 
World Fair at Brussels. There had been 4,000 visitors to Flint 
in 1958 to learn about the educational program with repre- 
sentatives from sixteen states and nine foreign countries, and 
in 1959 they kept on coming. 

The thirty-seventh yearbook of the American Association of 
School Administrators, Educational Administration in a 
Changing Community, speaks of the Flint community-school 
program's remarkable level of effectiveness, and credits Flint's 
development of a set of principles to administer such programs. 


Dr. Myrtle F. Black, in reviewing the book, notes that most of 
its recommendations "are in accordance with programs and 
philosophies already established in Flint," and that the Flint 
system "has assumed the stature of a laboratory and leadership 
training center for other places striving to build more effective 
school-community relationships/' 

On March 10, 1959, delegates from forty-six cities in twenty- 
three states met in Flint for the first National Community 
School Clinic. In addressing the clinic, Dr. Lynn M. Bartlett, 
state superintendent of public instruction, paid tribute to the 
world fame of Flint's successful community-school program. 
Later in the year, Peter Clancy, assistant director of the Mott 
program, wrote a report about this first clinic for publication 
in the Journal of Health Physical Education Recreation, 
describing the months of planning for the event, and the pro- 
gram conducted for the 250 people from many states attending. 
The experiences and responses of the participants are de- 
scribed, as they actually visited Flint's community schools and 
talked with the neighborhood people whose community life 
was so actively centered in the schools. C. C. Trillingham, Los 
Angeles County superintendent of schools, summarized the 
clinic at the final session, stating: 

The community-school concept has been tremendously suc- 
cessful for Flint I hope that all of us may take back with 

us a clearer vision of what an all-out community commitment 
to education can do, a renewed courage to utilize fully all of 
our community resources, a deepened belief in the importance 
of all of our people young and old, along with a desire to 
serve them better, and a realization that the battle for uni- 
versal education will not be won in Washington or our state 
capitals, as important as they are. The battle will be won in 
local neighborhood schools across this land, where we have 
dedicated and competent teachers working with interested 
and understanding parents and where the big job of adminis- 
tration and school boards is to provide the necessary where- 
withal for doing the kind of job that needs to be done. To me, 
this is the lesson at Flint 


In Mott's diary for March 24, 1959, the following aside is 
of special interest: 

Regarding small cars, it was about fifteen years ago that I 
wrote to G.M. President, C. E. Wilson, regarding the desk- 
ability and market for small cars and even sent specifications 
of one that I thought would fill the bill. I showed the letter 
to Ket and he said it was exactly what he had in mind, but, 
although since then I have sent copies of the above-mentioned 
letter to various men in General Motors, no interest seems to 
have been shown in a small car of the type I described. It 
was essentially a low-priced transportation job, which Ket 
called the "Market Wagon/' 

The world leader of the Salvation Army, Gen. Wilfred 
Kitching, visited Flint and toured the college and cultural 
center; he cabled Mott in Bermuda, stating that he was "deeply 
impressed by your contributions to the well being of this com- 
munity." Among the amazing variety of Mott-program courses 
offered, one was announced on "How Best to Use Retirement/' 
but Mott, approaching his eighty-fourth birthday, was as "un- 
retired" as ever. General Motors contributed $650,000 to 
Flint's YMCA building fund, as announced by John F. Gor- 
don, president of the corporation. Expansion of the Foun- 
dation's summer adult education courses was planned. 

At the close of the two-day annual conference of the Adult 
Education Association of Michigan, in Flint, in May, 1959, 
Dr. Myrtle F. Black was elected to the board of directors of the 
association. The relationship between adult education and 
industry in Flint was outlined by Joseph A. Anderson, general 
manager of AC Spark Plug Division, in a talk to the confer- 
ence. Manley, Dr. Black, and George V. Gundry, of the 
Flint Board of Education, also spoke to the conference, and the 
association presented its award of merit to Mott. 

On his eighty-fourth birthday, Mott found himself in the 
midst of a typically busy day. That evening, he and Mrs. Mott 
attended the annual dinner meeting of the Flint Chamber of 
Commerce. An enormous birthday cake was wheeled in, and 


the group sang "Happy Birthday." Mott made an off-the-cuff 

On the next day, June 3, 1959, Mott notes in his diary: 

I recommend you read Admiral Rickover's book, "Educa- 
tion and Freedom." I'll say that his opinions as given in his 
book are right down the line, and very sensible and timely. 
Last night I talked with new President of Board of Com- 
merce and also Harding, and I would like to see if we can't 
get Rickover here to talk before the Board of Commerce, or 
a larger meeting. He is one of the brightest geniuses in the 
country, highly educated, and I would like him to give a 
synopsis of his book about which I think everyone should 
have a knowledge. I would like to ask the Admiral's critics 
to tell me in detail where they think his book is mistaken in 
facts and fundamentals. 

On June 25, Mr. and Mrs. Mott and their two younger 
children, Stewart and Maryanne, met Mr. and Mrs. Manley, 
Mr. and Mrs. Harding Mott, and Mr. and Mrs. Everett Cum- 
mings, in Chicago to attend the dedication of the new Mott 
Building at the University of Chicago. Manley and Dr. Robert 
K. Burns presented talks about the work of the Foundation, 
and the architect turned the keys of the building over to the 
chancellor of the university. 

Receiving a YMCA award for service to camping on June 
30, Mott mentioned being camper number 101 at the first 
YMCA camp ever opened. The 1959 award was made at the 
Flint YMCA's Camp Copneconic 345 acres at a lake given 
by Mott years earlier. On July 1, the YMCA reached its $2.6- 
miflion building fund goal. 

In July, Mott attended a meeting at the junior college con- 
cerned with working out a plan to carry on organized industrial 
training and retraining, so that men looking for work would be 
qualified to fill jobs requiring special skills, and men already 
employed could be trained to advance to better jobs. The 
committee was organized, with an excellently diversified mem- 
bership, under the chairmanship of Edward T. Ragsdale, for- 


mer general manager of Buick. Of this plan, Mott notes in his 

It just so happens that this is the program that caused me 
to promote the building of our Science and Arts Building. We 
are already training graduate nurses, IBM operators, stenog- 
raphers, cooks, dressmakers, etc., and today's program is 
calculated to go a lot further. It presents many difficulties, 
but we think something can be accomplished which could be 
nationwide. All present seemed to be enthusiastic, and agreed 
to serve on this committee to which other important men will 
be added. 

On September 10, Mott went to the Flint Junior College to 
attend graduation ceremonies for seventy-four adults who had 
not completed high school in their younger days, but who had 
taken Mott-program high school credit courses to earn the 
diplomas being awarded. Mott congratulated the graduates, 
told them how pleased he was to be present at their graduation, 
and expressed the hope that they would continue their educa- 
tion with the more than nine hundred adult education courses 
being offered. 

Mott has always been interested in the work of the Genesee 
County Chapter of the Michigan Society for Crippled Children 
and Adults, and has felt that Mrs. Peggy McWhirter, executive 
secretary, has done an excellent job. On October 21, Mott 
offered a Foundation gift of $100,000 to construct a much- 
needed building for the organization to be located on the 
Durant-Tuuri-Mott School grounds. 

In the final days of October, Flint was host to the fourth 
annual community education workshop, which again brought 
hundreds of visitors to learn the Flint community-school story. 
Mott talked to the workshop group at Freeman School on the 
evening of October 28. The next day, Dr. Jess Davis, president 
of Stevens Institute of Technology, and Dr. Fulton Cutting, 
vice-president, visited Mott and he was glad to have them see 
Foundation activities in action. 

Dr. Paul J. Misner, superintendent of Glencoe, Illinois, 


schools, and past president of the American Association of 
School Administrators, talked to the workshop visitors on 
October 29. He submitted four observations about the com- 
munity school: 

1. The community school provides us with the only accept- 
able means of achieving educational purposes within the 
framework of democratic ideals and traditions; 

2. The community school is the means whereby the resources 
essential for a good educational program can be mobilized 
with optimum effectiveness and economy; 

3. The community school is the most promising means of 
achieving dynamic curriculum programs geared more 
effectively to changing social needs and conditions; and 

4. The community school presents teachers and administra- 
tors with new and challenging opportunities for leadership. 

At a panel discussion that evening Mott was especially de- 
lighted with the enthusiastic report of Mrs. Louis Asaro, 
recreation chairman of the PTA Council, and member of the 
City-School-Community Committee, Roseville, Michigan. 
Roseville representatives had attended a Flint workshop, had 
come back for more information, ("We needed community 
schools and needed them bad/') had sponsored bus-load visits 
to Flint, and had asked Mott staff members, including "Mr. 
Frank Manley, who has been a god-father to us," to come to 
Roseville and tell the story. They presented a program-plan to 
the city. There were setbacks, problems, obstacles. They 
thought funds to work with would be included in the city 
budget "$10,000 to start. We knew we couldn't start big" 
but found the funds not in the budget because of a hitch in 
the program-plan submitted. "So again we called upon . . . 
Mr. Manley." Manley, as always, was helpful in practical 
ways. There was a budget hearing: ". . . we jammed the City 
Hall. Have you ever tried saying no to about fifty screaming 
females? Well, don't! Because they couldn't, and we were 
granted $10,000 to start our community-school program. I 
can remember that night so well. All of us were so happy it 

was like a new baby being born. We have always said that 
Flint was like a big mother, always giving birth to other com- 
munities." There were still roadblocks. But the school custo- 
dians helped. The school board helped* They found a 
building director. Manley had said that when they got a build- 
ing director, they could send him to Flint for training if they 
wanted to ("// we wanted to! Yes, we wanted to, because we 
knew our building director would get the very best training 
possible where it all started in Flint.") The building director 
returned from his training in Flint, explained the program, 
and "That happy feeling came over us. We made it! We in 

Roseville had community schools " 

Mrs. Asaro addressed the others present who wanted com- 
munity schools, too: 

I hope in some small way this will help others to realize 
that you, too, can have community schools. If s not an easy 
hill to climb. You will have pitfalls; you will have some who 
don't think you need it; you'll also have people saying we 
can't afford it. Also, you'll hear Flint has Mr. Mott Yes, they 
have got Charlie Mott, but we should be thankful that we have 
the privilege to be able to see the wonderful things he has 
done so that we can go home and say we want community 
schools, too. 

You don't need a Charlie Mott; you need only to be de- 
termined to say we're going to have community schools and 
work towards it, and someday say with a happy feeling, "We 
have community schools in our town," because Flint is still 
a big mother, and we in Roseville know she will continue to 
give birth always. 

On the strength of that report alone, the workshop would 
have been a notable success. 

The November, 1959, issue of Educational Leadership in 
Michigan, published by the Michigan Association of School 
Administrators, devoted its opening page to a story, " 'Proof of 
the Pudding Is In the Eating' Flint Program " The article 
points out how different Flint is today from the way it was even 


fifteen years ago, because, "The character of the community 
has been uplifted." Specific evidence is cited to show why many 
people believe the community school movement is responsible 
for the improvement . . . with more adults enrolled for eve- 
ning education and recreation courses than children in regular 
school . . . with the juvenile-delinquency rate in Flint not 
showing the rise reported elsewhere . . . with such experimental 
ventures as retraining of unemployed people for new positions 
. . . with demonstrated popular support for education, includ- 
ing voters' passage of school-expense measures . . . with both 
locally focused courses and others relating to the broader scope 
of man in the modern world . . . with the remarkable esprit de 
corps of the Flint teaching staff. 

The December, 1959, issue of The Journal of Educational 
Sociology is devoted completely to a report of the First National 
"Community-School" Clinic with Peter L. Clancy (assistant 
director of the Mott program) and Milton A. Gabrielson as 
issue editors. This comprehensive 68-page report 'explains the 
background, development, and current status of the Mott Foun- 
dation's activities, and includes the talks given by Harding 
Mott, vice-president and business manager of the Foundation; 
Dr. Ernest O. Melby, and Howard Y. McClusky, as well as the 
panel-discussion contributions of Mrs. Fred L. Keeler, Dr. 
James P. Lewis, Dr. Lewis Barrett, and Dr. C. C. Trillingham. 
There are reports, also, on reactions of participants, postclinic 
evaluation, and a bibliography on the community school. In 
Harding Mott's greeting to the visiting educators, he said: 

Now, there is nothing so powerful as a right idea, and as 
you can see, our budget has expanded from $6,000 to its 
present amount of over a million dollars a year. This right 
idea has also helped encourage the late W. S. Ballenger to 
establish his trust fund for endowing chairs of learning at the 
junior college. This in turn inspired other leading citizens of 
the Sponsor's Committee of the College and Cultural Center 
to further expedite the completion of the over-all $25,000,000 
project that many of you have seen. This right idea also 


caused the tax-payers of this city to levy many millions of 
dollars against themselves to provide many of the buildings 
that you have seen in the city today. This building we are in 
now is just a sample of the last model that rolled off the line. 
We certainly are indebted to the Board of Education for its 
vision and raised sights in providing such outstanding leader- 
ship for the Flint school system. Further, this leadership 
has caused the state legislature to support a branch of the 
University of Michigan on the college campus 

Mott's diary in recent years has made frequent reference to 
the development and operation of the basic-economics pro- 
gram. On December 16, 1959, Mott and Dr. Burns attended 
a meeting at Bryant Junior High School gymnasium at which 
about 700 people who had taken the adult education basic- 
economics course received their certificates of completion. 
Manley opened the meeting, and Mott and Burns functioned as 
a panel to answer questions. Mott was very conscious of the 
necessity of accurate, clear, careful answers to the questions 
some of which were on the complex and ponderous side. He 
maintained his contention that sound economics is common 
sense above all, with such comments as, "Everybody knows that 
if you continue to spend more than you take in, you'll go bank- 
rupt and be thrown into the street." He noted that several 
elements threatened trouble for our economy in the long run 
from increase of the national debt; from imbalance in foreign 
trade, reducing our gold reserve; from continued high tax rates 
that inhibit consumer spending and investments in productive 
enterprises, and from rising prices and costs. He commented 
that the course just completed was the best way he had ever 
observed for people to learn basic economics because the 
trained discussion leaders did not tell the students what to 
think, but posed problems and let the classes work out the 

The Mott Foundation swept into 1 960 with a tabloid-catalog 
of more than 900 classes for winter adult education . . . eve- 
ning college, high school, pre-high school . . . special interests, 


program services , . . music, arts, crafts, drama . . . Bishop sew- 
ing and home arts . . . trades and mechanical skills . . . business 
education . . . recreation. Enrollments for the 1958-1959 year 
had totaled an amazing 77,644. 

Again in 1960, Flint was host to the National Community 
School Clinic co-sponsored by the Mott Program of the Flint 
Board of Education and the American Association for Health, 
Physical Education, and Recreation. Some 200 educational 
leaders from many states attended the three-day clinic on 
March 15, 16, and 17. Dr. Ernest O. Melby and Dr. Howard 
Y. McClusky brought their own appreciative insights to con- 
sideration of community-school problems, as they had done in 
previous workshops in Flint. Each visitor was given a kit of 
background materials, several opportunities to share in com- 
munity-school activities, and all the help the Flint staff could 
provide in finding answers to questions and problems in or- 
ganizing and developing community schools. 

Typical of the Foundation's close working relationship with 
other organizations and agencies in Flint was the city's 1960 
Michigan Week observance. Harding Mott was regional chair- 
man, Karl Schwartzwalder and Ralph Whittier, of AC Spark 
Plug Division, were Genesee County co-chairmen of the cele- 
bration, with Marvin Sitts, of the Foundation staff, as co- 
ordinator. A full week of community-participation activity was 
scheduled chiefly centering in and near the College and 
Cultural Center. 

In 1961 and 1962, activities have been even more impres- 
sive, with a choice of more than 1,100 adult education and 
recreation classes offered in Flint's community schools, and 
new pilot projects under way. 

On June 2, 1962, Charles Stewart Mott attained his eighty- 
seventh birthday. The partnership between Mott and Manley 
making up the essence of the Foundation program is still very 
much a going concern. In fact, it goes about as rapidly and 
purposefully as any human enterprise observable. 

The Foundation built, and opened in September, 1962, one 

of the finest health centers anywhere, the Mott Children's 
Health Center, next to Flint's Hurley Hospital. This is at once 
a recognition of community need, and a tribute to Dr. Arthur 
L. Tuuri, the center's director. 

In 1926, Mott established the Foundation ". . . for the pur- 
pose of supporting religious, educational, health, and recrea- 
tional activities for public benefit." 

Certainly the Foundation has lived up to that objective. 

In the process of doing so, it has made Flint a better place to 
live, and has established patterns which other communities are 
increasingly finding to be worth following. 

It has developed its own medium by which to function: the 
community school, which solves those most basic of problems 
communication with people, opportunity for people, par- 
ticipation by people providing the universal solvent of com- 
mon interest in the natural, democratic, publicly owned 
community center, the school. 

So broad is the total program that it cannot accurately be 
defined more narrowly than to call it a Foundation for Living. 

For each man for Frank J. Manley as for Charles Stewart 
Mott it is also a personal foundation for living the founda- 
tion stone, the living rock, upon which the house of his life is 

Dr. Melby has well said of these men, "But actually beyond 
their contributions, there has been developed in Flint an enter- 
prise which has an on-going internal spirit. It isn't only what 
these people do. It's the way they do it. It's the spirit in which 
they do it." 

The Foundation derives from the lives of these t 'O men who 
share a common concern for all people, and the most warm- 
hearted and practical determination to set workable patterns 
by which people can help themselves with their own and the 
world's most critical problems. 

Charles Stewart Mott has been hurrying for many years now 

to accomplish through the Foundation as much as possible 

while he is alive to guide and observe. 


In his diary for June 30, 1959, there is a fascinating entry, 
involving a dear friend of more than forty years, Floyd Allen, 
a regular recipient of the daily diary. 

I had a funny dream the other night. It was that the vener- 
able Floyd Allen and I had attended the funeral of a con- 
temporary octogenarian, and had gone to the cemetery some 
miles out of town. And when the burying was completed, 
the venerable Floyd turned to me and spoke. 

FLOYD: "C. S., how old was the deceased?'* 

c. s.: "About eighty years old." 
FLOYD: "C. S., how old are you?'* 

c. s.: "I supposed you knew that I am younger than you, 

and I am eighty-four." 
FLOYD: "Well, C. S., it hardly seems worthwhile to go back 

home, does it?" 

But we did return home. Floyd has retired from active life 
leading "the life of Riley" and visiting foreign climes and, 
at present, Alaska. While old man Mott is working days and 
nights, and Sundays, not knowing enough to quit. 

Charles Stewart Mott, at eighty-seven, is still under the 
compulsion of a lifetime: to get things done. And those things 
are predominantly new and improved ways for the Foundation 
to do an even-better job of helping others help themselves. 

The Mott family crest bears the motto: Spectemur Agenda, 
meaning, "Let us be known by our deeds" Quoting it, Charles 
Stewart Mott says, "Applying it to our work through the 
Foundation, I would add a phrase: 'Let us be known by our 
deeds and not by our money.' " 



AC Spark Plug Division of GM, 
33, 85, 151 

Adams, Floyd, 102, 107-108, 126, 

Addison, Chris, 116 

Adult Education Association of 
Michigan, 237 

Adventures of a White Collar Man 
(Sloan), 13, 91 

AFL Union membership card, 204 

Alcoholism, prevention and cure, 

Aldrich, F. A., 6 

Allen, Floyd, 246 

American Association for Health, 
Physical Education and Recrea- 
tion, 244 

American Association of School Ad- 
ministrators, 235 

American Automobile Association, 24 

American Ball Bearing Co., 22 

American Legion, 206, 213 

American Red Cross, 99, 206 

Anderson, H. W., 160 

Anderson, Joseph A^ 181-182, 187, 

Anspach, Dr. Charles L., 212 

Applewood, 89-90, 103-104, 118 

Arizona, trips to, 89, 102, 106 

Armstrong, Robert, 6 

Armstrong Spring Company, 6, 87 

Art and music, 89 

Asaro, Mrs. Louis, 240-241 

Autocar Co., 20 

Automobile Club of Utica, 24 

Automobile Old Timers, 181 

Automotive Giants of America 
(Forbes and Foster), 92-97 

Ailes made by Weston-Mott, 4, 22 

Bacon, Harold D., 133-134, 168, 


Bahlman, Dr. Cordon, 152 
Baker, E. K., 42 
BaUenger, William S., 5, 41, 44, 147, 

182, 187, 242 

Ballenger, William S., Jr., 218 
BaUenger Field House, 208 
Barrett, John M., 187 
Barrett, Dr. Lewis, 242 

Barton, Henry L., 84 

Bassett, Harry H., 29, 41-42, 75, 

85, 87, 92, 191 
Begole, C. M., 41, 44 
Bermuda, 111, 137 
Big Brother movement, 158 
Big Brother of the Year Award, 

201-203, 209 
Bills, Dr. Mark W., 187 
Bishop, Arthur G., 5, 28, 74, 132 
Black, Dr. Myrtle, 133-134, 203, 

Board of Education, 119-122, 196- 

197, 208, 218, 232-233, 237 
Co-ordinating Committee, 196, 


Bogue, Dr. Jesse P., 225 
Bowen, Wilbur P., 113 
Bower, F. A., 32, 146, 152, 155, 206, 

209, 214 

Boy's club work, 101, 157 
Boy Scouts, 98, 199, 208 
Bray, Mrs. Everett L., 232 
Briscoe brothers, 26 
Brown, Helen Hardy, 213 
Brown-Lipe Co., 22, 35, 87 
Browning machine guns, 151 
Brownelf Roy E., 79, 98, 103, 105- 

106, 126, 147, 156-157, 208 
Brownson, Rear Admiral Willard H., 


Brussels World Fair, 235 
Buffalo World's Fair, 14 
Buick, David D., 27 
Buick Motor Company, 1, 4-5, 27, 

49, 70, 74 

expansion, 29-39, 70, 74 
presidents, 58, 85, 87, 109-111 
Bums, Dr. Robert K., 217, 222-223, 


Burr, Dr. C. B., 68-69 
Burroughs, Mr. and Mrs. James, 103> 

Butler, Aimee Mott, 98 

CadiHac Company, 6, 22, 33, 3TT 
Camp Copneconic, 102, 106-108, 

Camp for boys, 102, 106-108, 147, 

169-170, 174, 179, 200 


Campbell, Dr., 132 
Canda Quadricycle Co., 20 
Carbonating machinery, 13 
Carriage Builders National Associa- 
tion, 70 

Carton, John J., 5, 7, 28, 82 
Centennial observance, Flint, 206- 


Central Michigan College, 212 
Chamber of Commerce, 160, 237- 


Champion, Albert, 32-33, 81, 85 
Champion Ignition Co., 32 
Chapin, H. W., 35 
Chevrolet, Louis, 40-41, 70, 181 
Chevrolet Motor Company, 43, 70, 

73, 84, 180-181 
acquired by GM, 76 
located in Flint, 55 
organized by W. C. Durant, 40- 


production, 101-102 
Chicago, University of, 222 

Motts gifts to, 48, 238 
Christian Science Monitor, 136 
Chrysler, Walter P., 74-75, 80-82, 

87, 132, 181 

Churchill, Winston, 80-81 
Citizens Military Training Camp, 

Camp Custer, 87 

Civilian Defense Council, 152-153 
Clancy, Peter L., 236, 242 
Clara Elizabeth Fund, 147 
Clark, Gen. Edwin Norman, 231- 


Coldwater Road Cart Co., 26 
College and cultural center project, 
Flint, 201, 206-207, 214-215, 
220, 225-226, 230, 235, 242- 

Colleges in Flint, 176-179, 186-189 
(See also Flint College of the 
University of Michigan and 
Flint Junior College) 
Commins, Harry M., 146 
Commonweal, 136 
Community-school concept, 123, 

Community-school program, 183- 

186, 194-196 
attendance, 217 

interest of educators in, 214-223 
teacher training, 212-213, 220 
tributes to, 236-245 
workshop in community educa- 
tion, 215-217, 227-228, 230- 
231, 239 

Congressional investigations, 103- 


Cook, Dr. Henry, 126 

Copeman Electric Stove Company, 


Copenhagen, trip to, 11-13 
Covington, Harry, 103 
Crapo, Henry H., 26 
Crippled children, treatment of, 

145, 226, 232, 239 
Cummings, Everett A., 219, 238 
Curtice, Harlow H., 103, 109-111, 

146, 166, 200-201, 229-230 
Cutting, Dr. Fulton, 239 

Dalton, Hubert, 29 
Davis, Edith, 111 
Davis, Harvey N., 168 
Davis, Herbert E., 89, 111 
Davis, Dr. Jess, 239 
Deeds, Col. E. A., 166-167 
DeKleine, Dr. William, 78, 98 
Depression of the 1930s, 101, 112 
Detroit News, 65, 101 
DeWaters, Enos A., 214-215, 221 
DeWaters Art Center, 214 
Dill, Ruth, 106, 180 
Doolitde, William G., 2-7, 20, 23, 

24, 28, 31 

Dort, J. Dallas, 5, 26, 68, 230 
Driver-education program, 182 
Duco finish used on GM autos, 86, 


Duffy Company, 20 
Duncan, Capt. William Butler, 18 
du Pont, Pierre S., 74, 80, 83, 180, 


Durant, William Crapo, 26-27, 30- 
33, 36, 38, 40-45, 58, 73, 78, 
86-87, 138-139, 181, 230 

bankruptcy, 131-132 

banquet honoring (1919), 80-81 

characteristics, 2, 5, 132 

Chevrolet started by, 40-45 

Flint enterprises, 55 

founder of GM, 30-33, 73-75, 83, 

made head of Buick, 27 

proposal to Mott to locate in Flint, 

Durant-Dort Carriage Co., 1-7, 27, 

29, 75, 230 

Durant Motors, 86, 131 
Durant-Tuuri-Mott School, 232, 239 
Durham, Cady B., 214 
Duryea, J. Frank, 181 

East Orange, N.J., 10 

Eastern Michigan University, 138 

Economics, educational program in, 
222-223, 243 

Educational Leadership in Michigan, 

Ehrbright, Lester, 179 

Eisenhower, Dwight D., 201-203, 
209, 219, 226 

El Paso, Texas, 150 

Elliot, Charles M., 114 

Europe, trip to, 10-13 

Executives, Mott on training of, 95- 

Experiment in Community Improve- 
ment, An (Ford and Miner), 

Fairview pilot project, 172-174 
Farry, Frank G., 126, 147, 155 
Federal Emergency Relief Adminis- 
tration, 117 

Ferris, Woodbridge N., 69 
Fisher Body Corporation, 81, 86, 


Flanagan, Father, 158 
Fletcher, Senator, 103 
Flint, Michigan, 26-39 

"Auto-maker to the World," 27 
centennial observance, 206-207 
decision to move Weston-Mott 

Company to, 1-7 
fiftieth anniversary, 26 
growth of, 55-56, 59 
housing problems, 63-64, 81 
lumber boom, 26 
Mott elected mayor, 45-77 
"Operation Tornado," 196-197 
population, 62, 70, 91 
sewer construction program, 52- 


World War I, 78 
Flint and Holly Railroad, 26 
Flint automobiles, 86 
Flint Civilian Defense Council, 152- 


Flint College of the University of 
Michigan, 182, 207, 213-214, 

Mott's gifts to, 179, 206-207 
Flint Community Service Center, 


Flint Equal Suffrage Assoc., 54 
Flint's Hurley Hospital, 98, 145, 

148-149, 245 
"Flint influence/' 227-228 
Flint Institute of Arts, 168 
Flint Institute of Technology, 92 
Flint Journal 32-33, 48-49, 5(^51, 
56-57, 63-64, 72, 77, 109-111, 

128-130, 148, 161, 177, 194- 
196, 201, 224 
'The Flint Plan of Recreation," 

136, 139 

Flint Junior College, 180, 188-189, 
198, 207-208, 221-222, 225, 
232, 238-239 

Curtice Community College Build- 
ing, 200-201 
Mott Science Building, 188-189, 


Flint Labor News, 76 
"Flint Plan of Recreation, The," 136, 


Flint Public Library, 230, 232 
Flint School Review, 184-186 
Flint School System, 114-119 
community school concept, 118- 


physical education program, 114 
recreation program, 115-117 
Flint's Social Science Research, 176, 


Flint Vehicle Workers Mutual Bene- 
fit Assoc., 92 

Flint Wagon Works, 27, 41 
Flint Wolverine Citizen, 6 
Flint YMCA, 92, 97-98, 199, 237- 

Flint Youth Bureau, 158, 169, 174, 

186, 218 

Folk Festival, 197 
Folsom, Marion B., 226 
Forbes, B. C., 92-97 
Ford, Robert S., 154^155 
Foster, O. D., 92 
Franklin automobile, 37 
Freeman, Leonard, 82 
Freeman, Ralph M., 184 
Freeman Community School, 183- 

186, 194^195 

French, Dr. David M., 211, 213, 

General Motors, 30-33, 87 
agreement with UAW-CIO, 177- 


beginning of, 30-33 
companies absorbed by, 87 
Detroit, 81, 94r-95 
employment of mothers, 159-160 
Mott elected vice-president, 75, 

102, 136 
Mott serves as director, 36, 61-62, 

74, 94-95, 170 
Mott in charge of operations in 

Detroit, 91, 94-95 
Mott made chief of advisory staff, 



General Motors, Mott's loyalty to, 

Nash elected president, 56-08 

1929 production, 101 

Pierre du Pont as president, 190 

reorganization in 1921, 8384 

Research Laboratory, 105 

stock, 73-74, 83 

Weston-Mott acquired by, 61 

World War I, 76 
GM Folks (Magazine), 150 
General Motors Institute, 92 
Genesee County Savings Bank, 5, 

32 74 

Genesee Fruit Company, 10, 19, 20 
Getz, John, 106 
Girl Scouts, 199 
Goodwill Industries, 159 
Gordon, George H., 76 
Gordon, John F., 237 
Gorman, Michael A., 109, 201, 204, 

209, 229, 231 
Grady, Joseph, 155 
Greenway, Charles, 82 
Grout Automobile Co., 20 
Guardian Group, 100-101, 103 
Gundry, George V., 153, 183, 187, 
202, 212, 237 

Hamady, Michael H., 144-145, 179, 


Hamady House, 169, 174 
Handicapped children, 145, 226, 

232, 239 

Hannah, Dr. John A., 205, 214 
Hanna, Paul H., 220 
Hannum, George, 192 
Harding, Ethel Culbert, 20 
Harding, Herbert Brunswick, 20 
Hardy, A. B. C., 55, 84, 109, 181 
Hasset, Harry H., 220 
Hatcher, Dr. Harlan H., 187-188, 

208, 209, 221-222 
Hawaii, 105 
Hawkins, Norval A., 84 
Hays, Dr. George, 141 
Hayward, George C., 153 
Hazard, Frederick H., 28 
Hazlitt, Henry, 190 
Health programs, 120, 141-142, 
145-146, 165, 174, 182, 213, 

229, 245 

Heddy, Walter, 204 
Killer, Ola, 175, 197 
Hoboten, N.J., 8, 10 
Holl, Bill 181 

Holmlund, Walter S., 174, 179 
"Horseless Carriage Rim," 24 


Hubbard, Lt. John, 18 
Hudson automobile, 37 
Humes, Mary Nell, 213 
Hyatt Roller Bearings, 22 

Income tax investigations, 104 
Independent Citizens' Party, 45-46 
Indianapolis speedway, 40 
Industrial Fellowship League, 92 
Industrial Mutual Assoc., 92, 159 
Industrial relations, study of, 222- 


Installment selling, 13-14 
Insurance contract, 25 
Interman, Herman K., 168 
Interracial Community Center, 165, 


Jones, Dr. Gflvert, 168 

Jones, Dr. Lafon, 126 

Jorgensen, Dr., 10-11 

Journal of Educational Sociology, 

Journal of Health Physical Educa- 
tion-Recreation, 236 

Junior Chamber o Commerce, 146, 

Juvenile delinquency, prevention of, 
115-116, 127, 142-143, 159- 

Keeler, Mrs. Fred L., 242 
Kellar, George C., 76 
Kelly, Osmund, 152, 158 
Kettering, Charles F., 81, 84, 86, 89, 

104-105, 138, 166-167, 181, 


Kettering, Eugene W., 235 
Kitching, General Wilfred, 237 
Kiwanis Health Camp, 98-99, 147, 

Knudsen, William S., 85, 101-102, 

109-111, 136, 146, 147, 151, 

155, 167, 180 
Koopmen, Dr. G. Robert, 217 

Lamb, Leland H., 126, 146-147 

Lane, Garland B., 205 

Lewis, Dr. James A., 217 

Lewis, Dr. James P., 242 

Libraries, 230-232 

Lilies, O. J., 204 

Lions Club, 99, 147 

Literary Digest, 101 

Little, W. H., 41, 68 

Little Motor Co., 41, 43, 45, 55, 73 

Longway, Robert, 206, 209, 214 

Luce, Henry R., 151 

Lundburg, L. A., 165 

McAvinchey, Frank L., 126, 147 
McCann, Dr. Kevin, 226-227 
MacCartiiy, Dr. Shane, 216, 219 
McClusky, Dr. Howard Y., 216, 242, 


McCreery, Fenton, 6 
MacCrone, Edward E., 98 
MacDonald, John R., 64-67 
McDougal, Taine, 103 
McDougall, Josephine, 174 
McGurty, Edward J., 48 
McKeighan, William H., 64, 71-72 
McKinTey, President, 18 
McLaugnlin, R. S., 132 
McWhirter, Mrs. Peggy, 239 
Manley, Frank J., 108, 111-123, 
126, 134, 137-138, 142, 146- 
150, 153, 175, 183, 187, 202, 
211-212, 226, 228, 238, 240- 
review of Mott Foundation, 162- 

164, 198-199 
swimming pool named in honor 

of, 199-200, 212 
Mason, William, 103 
Mason Motor Co., 41, 55 
Medberry, Mrs. Nell, 103 
Melby, Dr. Ernest O., 215-216, 218, 

242, 244-245 

Menton, John A. C., 45, 47, 64, 66 
Merrill, Gyles E., 161, 198 
Michigan, University of, 52, 153- 

154, 159-161, 168 
proposal to operate branch in 

Flint. 182, 204-207 
Mott's gift to, 206-207 
Michigan Association for Health, 
Physical Education, and Recrea- 
tion, 149 

Michigan Association of School Ad- 
ministrators, 241 
Michigan Education Assoc., 228 
Michigan Education Journal, 165 
Michigan Rural Teachers Assoc., 

Michigan Society of Professional 

Engineers, 213 
Michigan State College 205 
Michigan State Normal College, 

137-138, 212 

Michigan White House Conference 
on Education, 201-202, 204- 
Mindardo, William F., 133-134, 

186, 212 

Miner, Frances H., 154r-155 
Miner, Dr. Fred, 147 
Misner, Dr. Paul J., 239-240 
Mitchell cars, 37 

Moore, Dr. Wilbur E., 212 
Mott, Adam, 8 
Mott, Aimee, 23, 28, 88-89 
Mott, Charles Stewart, children, 1, 

88-89, 106, 131, 140-141, 153 
decision to move plant to Flint, 

Mich., 1-7 

loyalty to associates, 4, 192 
business ability, 5 
birth, 8 

family background, 8-9 
early life, 9-10 
education, 9-10, 13-14 
military service, 10, 
marriages, 20, 105 
mayor of Flint, 45-77 
banquet in honor of, 68-69 
in charge of production of vehicles 

for the army, 79 
sketch by Forbes, 93-97 
philanthropies, 97-99 
honors and awards, 137, 168-169, 
198-214, 232-233, 237-238 
tributes to, 146-148, 207-209 
diaries, 155-156, 170 
portraits, 171 175 
diamond jubilee celebration, 175- 

partnership between Manley and, 

Mott, Charles Stewart Harding (see 

Mott, Harding) 
Mott, Charles Stewart Harding, HI, 


Mott, Edith, 8 

Mott, Elsa Beatrice, 28, 89, 98 
Mott, Mrs. Ethel Harding, 20, 90 
Mott, Frederick G., 19-20, 24 
Mott, Harding, 28, 88-89, 98, 106, 
165, 187, 197, 208, 226, 238, 

Mott, Harding, Jr., 106, 197 
Mott, John Coon, 8, 221-222 
Mott, Isabella T., 8, 221-222 
Mott, Maryanne Turnbull, 153, 156, 

Mott, Ruth Rawlings, 105-106, 150, 

157, 208 
Mott, Stewart Rawlings, 140-141, 

189-190, 238 

Mott, Susan Elizabeth, 131, 196 
Mott, C. S., Company, 13, 20 
Mott Camp for Boys, 102, 106- 
108, 147, 169-170, 174, 179, 
Mott Children's Health Center, 148- 

149. 168, 205-206 
Mott cider and vinegar company, 


Mott Community Center of Science 
and Applied Arts, 194, 207, 239 
Mott Foundation, 61-62, 97-99 
accomplishments, 244-246 
active interest of Mott in, 121 
activities, 126-127, 140, 152, 

169-170, 194, 243-244 
adult-education program, 142, 

179-181, 198, 200, 204, 217 
annual report, 172-174 
athletic program, 219 
beginnings, 112120 
budget, 124, 140, 155, 164, 168, 

183, 200, 213, 221 
buildings purchases by, 157-158, 

Children's Health Center, 148- 

149, 168, 205-206 
college courses, 153-154, 157, 


community-school concept, 121, 

cooperation between private and 
public agencies, 164 

cooperation with Board of Educa- 
tion, 119-122, 130, 196-197, 
208, 218, 232-233, 237 

enrollments, 183, 244 

experimental developments, 219 

Fairview pilot project, 172-174 

founding and purpose, 97-99 

functions, 121-122 

gift to Flint College of the Univ. 
of Michigan, 179, 206-207 

health service program, 141-142, 
145-146, 165, 174, 182, 213, 
229, 245 

leadership training, 124 

"model school" program, 158, 165 

objectives, 149-150 

pilot projects, 122, 165-166, 172- 
174, 219 

personnel, 124, 130, 133-135 

post-war years, 162-174 

program adapted to needs of peo- 
ple, 130 

program developments, 130, 140- 

public-forum meetings, 136 

public relations, 125-130, 136, 

150, 224-225 
purpose, 98 

review compiled by Manley, 162- 

164, 198-199 

role of building director, 186 
Stepping Stone Program for girls. 

144-145, 157, 169, 174, 179, 



teen-age safe-driving program, 


Tot Lots program, 182, 213 
visiting-teacher program, 142-143 
167 * 

visitors to, 174, 224-232 
World War II, 151 
Mott Foundation Building, 161 
Mott Health Achievement Program, 

Mott Memorial Building, 211, 221- 

Mott Science and Arts Buildins. 
194, 207, 239 * 

Mountain, W. W., 68 

Mulder, Cornelia, 159, 174 

Municipal Housekeeping Commis- 
sion, 60 

Music center, 230 

Myers, Dr. Spencer W., 189, 207, 

Nash, Charles W., 38-39, 48-49, 68, 

elected president of GM, 56-58 
Mott's notes on, 57-58 
resignation from GM, 73-75 
tribute to Mott, 63-66 
National Board of Fire Underwrit- 
ers, 53-54 
National Conference on Education 

for Leisure, 219 
National Community School Clinic, 

236, 244 

National Science Fair, 228 
National Youth Administration, 117, 


Neighborhood War Clubs, 155, 157 
New York State Naval Militia, 10, 

New York Times, 136 
Newsweek, 136, 190 
Niles, Jack, 204 
Nursery schools, 157 

Oakland automobile, 33, 84 
Office of Production Management. 


Olds, R. E., 21, 33 
Oldsmobile automobile, 6, 84 
Olson, Dr. Frames A.. 141, 147 
"Operation Tornado, 196-197 
Optimist Club, 158 

Packard, J. W., 21 
Packard Motor Company, 21 
Parent-teacher association, 197 
Parker, James S., 126 

Parkland community school, 186 

Patterson, Alton R., 133-134, 183 

Paterson, W. A., 26-27, 84-85, 215 

Paterson Company, 30 

Pecora, Ferdinand, 103-104 

Peerless automobile, 37 

People's Party, Flint, 59-60 

Pero Lake, 102 

Physical education program, 114 

Pierce-Arrow, 37 

Pierce community school, 189, 195 

Pollock, Mrs. Milton, 144 

Pontiac Division, 86, 102 

Potter, E. D., 146 

Potter community school, 189, 195 

Pound, Dr. and Mrs. Arthur, 215 

President's Council on Youth Fit- 
ness, 216, 228, 231 

Probation cases, 150 

Public affairs, interest in, 93-94, 

Pyper, William F., 203 

Radio station WFBE, 197, 224 
Ragsdale, Edward T., 238-239 
Ranldn, Francis, 6 
Rawlings, Ruth, 105 
Rawlings, Sarah and Junius, 105, 

Rawlings Health Center, El Paso, 


Readers Digest, 210 
Recreation Council, 116 
Remington, Frederic, 89 
Remington Arms Co., 29, 75 
Remington Automobile and Motor 

Co., 23-24 
Reo automobile, 37 
Retraining program for workers, 238 
Rickover, Admiral Hyman, 238 
Rideout, Gerald H., 202 
Riggs, Professor, 52 
Roosevelt, Mrs. Franklin D^ 127- 

128, 198 

Roosevelt, Theodore, 56 
Roosevelt community school, 186 
Roseville, Michigan, 240-241 
Rotary Club, 117, 145, 147 
Rubel, Ellen, 106 
Russell, Ernestine, 219 
Ruthven, Dr. Alexander G., 159- 

161, 176, 178, 187, 221 
Ryder, Joseph T., 158, 174, 202- 

203, 218 

Saginaw County distinguished serv- 
ice award, 198 
Sarvis, Arthur H., 146 

Saturday Review, 230 
Schwartzwalder, Karl, 244 
Science teaching, 226-227, 235 
Scott, Walter E., 150, 212, 21&-219, 

221-222, 232 
Selby, Guy W., 218 
Shayon, Robert Lewis, 230 
Sibilsky, Robert, 211 
Sitts, Marvin, 244 
Skaff, Woodrow W., 202 
Sloan, Alfred P., Jr., 13-14, 68, 78- 

79, 81, 85, 91-93, 109-111, 

132, 147-148, 180, 191, 193, 

Adventures of a White Cottar 

Man, 13, 91 
Small cars, 237 
Sobey, Albert, 92 
Socialist party in Flint, 47-51 
Society or Automobile Engineers, 41 
Somes, Russel V., 159 
Spanish-American War, 14-18 
Sportsmen's Clubs, 114 
Star automobiles, 86 
Stepping Stone Program, 144-145, 

157, 169, 174, 179, 218-219 
Stevens Institute of Technology, 10, 

13-14, 137, 206, 239 
Alumni Award Medallion to Mott, 


Stewart, Col Charles, 8 
Stewart, Isabella Turnbull, 8 
Stewart, S. S., Jr., 187, 218 
Stewart, William F., 6 
Stewart Body Company, 6, 30 
Stoddard-Dayton cars, 37 
Strikes, sit-down, 132-133 
Suffrage movement, 54-55 
Summerfield, Arthur E., 203 
Swenson, Mrs. Jessie H., 220 

Tanner, Floyd, 136 

Taucher, Mrs. E. A., 90 

Taylor, Dr. Clair L, 205, 215, 217 

Tennant, John S., 76 

Thome, Willis, 103 

Time magazine, 151, 188 

Tornado, 196-197 

Tot Lot program, 182, 213 

Totten, Dr. W. Fred, 187, 212, 220 

Trillingham, C. C., 236, 242 

Tuuri, Dr. Arthur L., 196, 205-206, 

Tuuri-Mott Building, 232, 239 

Union Industrial Bank defalcations, 

100-101, 103 
United China Relief campaigns, 151 


United Motors, 79 
Union Industrial Building, 158 
U.S. Sugar Co., 169 
Utica, 19-20, 23, 27-28 
awards given Mott, 210 

Vandenberg, Arthur H., 148 
Vercoe, PM, 134 

War Chest Board, 152 

Washburn, William E., 49 

Washington, Al, 175 

Weeks, John W., 87 

Weir, Victor, 170-171 

Welborn, Ralph, 204 

Wellwood, John, 134 

Western trips, 89, 102, 105-106 

Weston, I. A. and Company, 19 

Weston-Mott Company, 20, 26-39, 

74, 95 

capitalization, 7, 28, 31 
decision to move to Flint, Mich., 

1-7, 28 

employee relations, 42, 59 
furnished axles to Buick, 4, 7 
General Motors and, 33-36, 61 

Wetherald, Charles, 169-170 

Wheels, demountable rims, 42 

wire, 19, 21 
Whiting, J. H., 27 
Whittier, Ralph, 244 
Wilcox, Maj. George D., 79 
Wildanger, Dr. A. J., 126 
Wiles, Ivan, 208 

Williams, Governor C. Mermen, 205 
Willys organization, 81 
Wilson, C. E., 237 
Windiate, John G., 71 
Wisner, Judge C. H., 66 
Working mothers, employment of, 

Works Progress Administration, 117, 

Workshop in community education 

215-217, 227-228, 230-231, ' 


World War I, 70, 76, 78 
World War II, activities of the Mott 

Foundation, 151-161 
Woughter, Dr. Harold W., 202, 

Wright, Orville, 167 

Yankee, USS, 14-18 


For assistance in the preparation of this book, the authors wish to express 
particular indebtedness to the editor, staff, and files of the Flint Journal; 
Doubleday & Company, Inc., for quotations from Adventures of a White- 
Collar Man, by Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., in collaboration with Boyden Sparks; 
the B. C. Forbes Publishing Company, for quotations from Automotive 
Giants of America, by B. C. Forbes and O. D. Foster; Dr. Arthur Pound, 
author of The Turning Wheel, for a wealth of background material and for 
the most generous of professional and personal assistance; Mr. Frank J. 
Manley, Miss Margaret Yambrick, Mr. William F. Minardo, and other 
members of the staff of the Mott Program of the Flint Board of Education 
for consistent helpfulness; Mr. Walter E. Scott for insight, information, and 
advice; Mrs. Marion Gordon for creative suggestions as well as help in the 
reading of proofs; Mr. C. S. Mott and his own personal staff for making 
available a remarkable collection of letters, documents, and records. 


(continued from front flap) 
tic, helter-skelter way into the smoothly 
integrated organization which is a model 
of efficiency for all business today. 

Mr. Mott's decision to move his small 
company to Flint was to have a profound 
influence on his own life, as well as on the 
future of the city. Flint was encountering 
the man it would elect as Mayor seven 
years later, a man whose interest in the 
educational process has attracted its atten- 
tion and has elicited the admiration of its 
entire educational community. 

The Mott Foundation's beliefs are sim- 
ple: schools are built for all the people; 
school buildings standing idle much of the 
time can be made into community centers 
where social, recreational, health and edu- 
cational facilities may be provided for all. 
In the past season, more than 120,000 
children participated in the Foundation's 
program, and since 1944, the University 
of Michigan Extension Course has com- 
bined with the Foundation to expand its 
adult education facilities. By 1960, more 
than 900 such classes in adult education 
were offered, and two years later the num- 
ber offered through Flint's community 
schools had reached 1,100. This is all the 
work of C. S. Mott. 

Charles Stewart Mott's story is one of 
great vision, devotion, persistence, and the 
courage to try and if need be, to try 
again. Today, at the age of eighty-seven, 
commenting on his lifelong need to get 
tilings done, Mr. Mott says of himself: 
"Old man Mott is still working days and 
nights, and Sundays, not knowing when to 
quit." It is a need that has benefited untold 
thousands of people in the community he 
has loved and served so faithfully for more 
than half a century.